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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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On the blog: The blowout bash for graduation

To celebrate the culmination of high school next month, hundreds of area graduates will stay up all night partying with friends at a bash complete with karaoke, casino-style gambling and raffle prizes including iPods and gift certificates to local stores and restaurants.

It’s called the senior all-nighter – a lavish party that requires dozens of parent volunteers and many months of planning. For the past year, the parents of these graduating seniors have been selling poinsettias, hosting garage sales and car washes, asking businesses for donations and doing all they can to raise money for the festivities.

Some parents are able to raise as much as $30,000 or more for these parties.

It’s a special night for the kids, they say. It also gives parents peace of mind because they know their sons and daughters are at a fun, alcohol-free event instead of at a keg at some unknown destination.

While some people think it’s a good idea and tradition that many high schools should uphold, critics say these parties can be decadent and indulgent, and that the money could be used to help the poor and others in need.

What do you think?

If you have a graduating senior, how will your family celebrate this special occasion? What are some good graduation gift ideas? Is cash the most practical present of all?

- Posted by Virginia de Leon

Join the conversation at www.spokesman.com/blogs/parents.

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