On Friday, June 7, approximately 1,400 students will graduate from the three McKinney high schools – McKinney, Boyd and North. For the 10th straight year McKinney’s Project Graduation is dedicated to providing a drug- and alcohol-free, safe, all-night event where young people can celebrate their accomplishments. The event will be held at Myers Park and Event Center (7117 CR 166).

All three high schools will hold their graduation ceremonies on June 7 at Prestonwood Baptist Church (6801 W. Park Blvd.) in Plano. McKinney North’s graduation will start at 10 a.m., McKinney Boyd’s graduation will start at 2:30 p.m., and McKinney’s graduation will start at 7 p.m.

Project Graduation is slated for 10 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. on Saturday morning. Everyone must arrive before the gates lock at midnight. After that, no one will be admitted. Arrive early to avoid the long line of cars.

Statistics show that drugs and alcohol are often a part of teenage celebrations. This can result in sometimes fatal accidents and overdoses. At Project Graduation seniors have the opportunity to spend graduation night with their friends playing games, enjoying food and winning prizes. The only goal is to keep them and our community safe. This memorable event is provided at no cost to the graduates so that they all have a chance to attend.

Help is needed to reach their target of $100,000 to cover the cost of this event. Project Graduation is a volunteer-run, not-for-profit group, and all donations directly benefit McKinney seniors. Any help is appreciated – including the gift of time as many volunteers are needed to plan and run Project Graduation.

“For each $100 donated and/or volunteer shift worked on behalf of a graduating senior he/she will be eligible for a special $500 cash drawing,” said Deanna McGonagill, Director of McKinney’s Project Graduation, in an open letter to students and parents. “If you have out of town guests coming for graduation we’d love for them to join us at Myers Park. They will be contributing to a great cause and will have a fun time.”

In addition to supporting this important project, those who can partner at a level of $1,000 or more receive advertising benefits as a Star Sponsor. Those benefits include name or logo printed on T-shirts, a large banner at the event, a thank you ad in football programs for next season, adding a promotional piece to the prize envelopes and more.

Among the prizes already announced include a new car from Nissan of McKinney. Owner David G. Kelley said in an open letter: “It is an honor for Nissan of McKinney to partner for the seventh year now with McKinney’s Project Graduation. This event is a McKinney graduation tradition and it has become a tradition for Nissan of McKinney to donate a vehicle as the Grand Prize for the event – we hope this motivates the seniors and contributes to record attendance at this year's Project Graduation.”

Click here for the rules for the event.

If you are interested in donating, click here to read about the various levels of recognition, including Title Sponsor and Star Sponsor.

A project this big can always find a need for volunteers. Click here to see what help is needed before, during and after the event.

If you have any questions about Project Graduation, you can contact McGonagill via email at deanamcg@tx.rr.com or visit mckinneys-project-graduation.com.

McKinney's Project Graduation McKinney's Project Graduation
McKinney's Project Graduation McKinney's Project Graduation

Graduates and guests enjoy some of the games and events at last year's Project Graduation.