OKEECHOBEE — Grad Night was a night to remember for the Class of 2019. Not only did they join the ranks of adulthood through graduation from high school, they were treated to a lovely evening at the KOA at the 30th Annual All Night Graduation Party hosted by Our Village Okeechobee.
A huge thank you to Magi Cable for chairing this event for the second year. It takes a lot of hours to get this event up and running, with the committee spending months on planning. Thank you to those who have served and continue to serve on the graduation committee as well as the host of volunteers and OHS staff who spend time in advance of the event and during the event making sure our children have a fun and safe graduation night. It would be remiss if a thank you was not extended to the sheriff’s office for its protection during the event as well as the trustees under the direction of Gary Cashwell, who are always willing to lend a hand getting everything to the event venue.
To Kiwanis and Rotary, thank you for managing the parking on our behalf.
Thank you to our loyal sponsors and donors, for making this evening possible. Our Grand Prize sponsor, The Seminole Tribe of Florida, gifted four of our lucky seniors with $2,500 in cash. Our big winner was Brianna Leonard who took home a cash prize of $1,000.
Indian River State College Foundation provided two scholarships for one year each. The students played Jeopardy for a chance to win the scholarships. The lucky graduates were Denice Yates and Alec Muller.
The Valedictorian Sponsors were as follows: Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Department, Okeechobee Substance Abuse Coalition, Children’s Services Council, Rotary Club of Okeechobee, Kiwanis Club of Okeechobee, and Okeechobee the Magazine. The Scholar Sponsors were: Time to Escape and the Hardacre Family, Mira Realty, Tim Miller Hypnotist, SLD Engineering, Will and Jill Holcomb, Williamson Cattle Company, Raulerson Hospital, and the Tobacco Free Partnership of Okeechobee. The Honor Sponsors were: the Gilbert Family of Companies, Jay and Stephanie Walpole, Bill and Merle Hendry, Domer’s Machine Shop, Joyce Clercuzio, IBEW Local #627, Okeechobee County Education Association, Brennan Eye Care and Dr. Christine Brennan, Diane Hagan, Okeechobee Retired Educators Association, KOA and Wemmer Family Orthodontics. Additional sponsors included: Toni Wiersma, Mary Hurley, Sandra and Carrol Word, JL Vet Service, George and Mary Beth Cooper, JM Larson Inc., Cassel’s and McCall, J&J Auto, Jo Norris, Alicia Causey, Gay Carlton, Gary Moorman, Cathleen Blair, Theta Omicron Cole Moorman, CPA, Diane Saum, Susan Williams and Zelda Mixon.
An additional shout-out to those who donated vast amounts of food and drinks for the graduates: Publix, Cathie Carpenter, Burger King, Domino’s, Pizza Heaven, Golden Corral, Cowboy’s, Beef O’Brady’s, Brown Cow Sweetery, Zaxby’s, Jersey Mikes and McDonald’s South.
Okeechobee, again, we cannot say thank you enough for your generosity to ensure we have these great experiences for our children. Your commitment to ensuring our students have a safe graduation night inspires us to continue this event for many years to come. If you ever wish to help with this event, we would welcome you. Many hands make light the work! Like Our Village Okeechobee on Facebook to find opportunities like this to help our children and our community. See you in 2020, OHS Grads!