PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - An event aimed at keeping graduating seniors in Pascagoula off the streets and out of trouble on graduation night is having some funding issues. The Parent Teacher Organization is now calling on South Mississippians to dig deep into their pockets and help make this celebration a success.
Pascagoula High School senior Zachary Ramero and his family have two big celebrations they're looking forward to this week; graduation day and a free, all night party open to all the seniors known as Flight Night.
"I am excited. I know a bunch of my friends are coming, and it will be fun everyone being together. It is kind of our last time after graduation," Ramero said.
"This will be my third child to attend. It is a safe way to stay off the streets and stay together and enjoy themselves," Susan Ramero said.
Lisa Wood is with the Parent Teacher Organization that has helped put on the bash for a decade. The goal this year is to provide the 200 plus seniors with even more cool prizes, food and clean fun.
"Every year, we have been able to get sponsorships and donations from community, businesses and organizations. We spend around $10,000 to $15,000 by the time you include all the food and prizes and cash giveaways, so it is a lot of incentives for the kids to come out," Wood said.
PTO members admit that this year the community donations for the event have been down compared to previous years.
Right now, they are at least $2,000 short of their goal.
"It is a large school; it is a lot of kids graduating. They won't all attend Flight Night, but quite a few of them do, so it is hard not to have all the money," Wood said.
Graduation day and the party are Friday. Parents are hoping to garner more community support by then to provide these graduates with an entertaining night in a safe spot.
"As a community we care about our youth, and we want to be proactive and not wait until the next day when there is a car accident or we are all upset saying we could have prevented that. So, come out Pascagoula and support our youth and try to keep them safe on graduation night," Wood said.
Graduation day is May 23, and the Flight Night party will follow from 11 p.m. until 5 a.m. the next day at the Family Interactive Center. Pascagoula High and the PTO are still accepting monetary donations, gift cards and food for this event.
You can bring your donations to the school or call (228) 938-6451.