The night before graduation, Gilroy High School celebrated its seniors on June 3 with the Safe & Sober Grad Night, organized by parent volunteers with support of community donors.
The event was held in a drive-thru fashion through the school’s parking lots. Students began in the 10th Street parking lot, where they drove through a light tunnel, and as they exited, they were given a lei, popcorn bag and water.
As they made their way down 10th Street to the Princevalle Street parking lot, their senior photos were on display on the high school’s lawn adjacent to the road.
Once they arrived in the parking lot, they were treated with DJ Mike Hernandez playing music, volunteers cheering them on and giving out candy bags, class of 2021 masks, dinner provided by Togo’s and Super Taqueria and a dessert cupcake. A large lighted “2021” sign marked the end of the procession.
Organizers Chrissie Nelms and Marisa Rodriguez worked with GHS Activities Director Chris Leong to put on the event and find vendors and businesses to support the festivities. Other businesses that helped included Cal Silk, Jaime’s Sweet Treats and One Life Prints.
Rodriguez said the organizers had no idea how the event would be received, or if any seniors would attend.
“So when we saw the line of cars full of happy, grateful, excited seniors, we felt so overwhelmed with joy, we couldn’t believe we had done it,” she said. “We had a small idea to give these kids something special to remember their senior year. We wanted to give them something that could make up for all the loss, and I think we did it. I hope we did it.”