Seniors pumped for much-awaited grad party

Flashy graduation invitations get mixed reactions among senior class

Eleanor Kaplan and Alyssa Pak

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Seniors are anticipating their graduation party after the distribution of super-sized invitations during advisery.

The party will begin at 10:45 p.m. on June 4 at  Northfield.

Students often look forward to the grand raffle near the end of the party. After a few hours of games and dancing, at 4 a.m., graduates make their way to Gilson Beach to take pictures and watch the sunrise.

Senior Amber Malik said she is most looking forward to the prospect of winning prizes at the party. Last year, some of the most note-worthy prizes given away were televisions, plane ticket vouchers, a Vespa, and an autographed Blackhawk hockey stick.

Last year, at every hour they had a smaller raffle, where prizes such as FitBits, speakers, headphones, small TVs, Keurigs, and gift cards were given away.

“A really memorable moment was when someone got a raffle prize twice. They also gave away a lot of electronics and gift cards,” noted 2016 graduate Dylan Schellenberg.

The invitations this year were large white sheets of paper covered with adjectives used to describe the class, ranging from “fluffy” to “invaluable.” They caused different reactions among students, some loving them, while others found them wasteful and unoriginal.

Malik said, “I think it is completely unnecessary to spend anything on the invitations. Why do you need an invitation to something you know you are already invited to?”

Making school-wide announcements to inform students about the party would work just as well, Malik suggested.

However, most students were happy to receive such a memorable item, with many opting to have their friends highlight the adjectives that best describe them. Senior Alicia Kruk said that although some of the words were rather generic, she liked the aesthetic of the invitations and how easy they are to display.

Co-president of the Parent’s Association, Bonnie Connors, wrote in an email to the New Trier News that, “This year’s invitation reflects the idea that each student is unique, multi-faceted, and much like a ‘work of art.’” Each year, a committee of parent volunteers is assembled to design the invitations.

While Connors did not specify the amount of money spent on either the party or the invitations, she noted that it was consistent with the amount from previous years.

Principal Denise Dubravec said that the money for the party is collected by the Parent’s Association throughout the class’s four years in high school, instead of having graduates pay for a single ticket their senior year.

Regardless of the money spent,  community members are onboard with rewarding the graduates for all of their accomplishments. “People in the community support the party because they want the grads to be able to celebrate their hard work in a safe, fun and inclusive environment,” wrote Connors.

Although the theme is kept secret until the night of the party, Connors said that the invitations reflect each year’s theme.

Last year, the invitations were given on scrolls, hinting to the theme of Arabian Nights. In 2015, the theme of music festivals was alluded to by the use of lanyards as invites.

While the party is held in the Northfield gym, Connors said that the space is completely transformed and is almost unrecognizable with all the decorations. 2016 graduate Emily Irwin noticed the same. “The gym was decorated really well with colorful wall curtains and decorative seating areas with couches and pillows,” she said.

There were live belly dancers and people who were dressed as Arabian Knights, remembered another 2016 graduate, Madeline Hopps. It is evident that the NTPA goes all out for one of the seniors’ last nights together.

The entertainment last year consisted of lots of carnival games, arts and crafts, dancing, and most notably, a performance by the duo Louis the Child, said Schellenberg.

“Louis the Child played at 1 AM and everyone was all together on the dance floor while one of our fellow grads was on stage,” said Hopps.

Despite the party lasting until nearly 4 AM, graduates are enthusiastic about staying up all night dancing and spending time with their friends. Most people stay until almost the end of the party, heading home just a little bit early to prepare for going to see the sunrise, said Irwin.

Kruk said that she is most looking forward to the trip to the beach in the morning.

“My friends and I go watch the sunrise a few times each summer, so doing it with a bunch of my delirious classmates should be a good time.”

The goal of the Parent’s Association for the graduation party is to celebrate the class’s achievements and reunite the class once more. Irwin said, “The best part was just being with everyone for one last time.”

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