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Fundraiser for Ferris High School seniors’ all-nighter continues despite uncertain school year due to COVID-19

UPDATED: Mon., Jan. 11, 2021

One corner of the Ferris High School parking lot was covered in pine needles Sunday, as cars pulled into drop off their Christmas trees and donate to the Ferris High School class of 2021 all-nighter.

The class of 2021 has had anything but a normal senior year, with school happening remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic and most extracurricular activities canceled. Despite the challenges, parents and members of the all-nighter board for 2021 know their students still deserve recognition for all their hard work.

“I think people are feeling for the kids,” said Sheri Carroll, co-chair of the group. “They’re missing out on everything.”

Normally the all-nighter is a celebration in the school gym where students celebrate their accomplishments in a safe and fun manner, playing games and winning prizes that include dorm supplies. The event often costs upwards of $20,000 for the approximately 350 students, said Carla Price, co-chair of the organization.

“So what we do is we try to host a drug- and alcohol-free celebration at the end of the year,” said volunteer Tonya Karunaratne. “Of course, this year is a unique year. So we’re not sure what that looks like yet.”

The group has continued fundraising and are weighing options for the event, including offering gift baskets or holding an online auction. One of their annual fundraisers is the Christmas tree recycling event that wrapped up on Sunday.

Students and parents volunteer to pick up browning Christmas trees, or customers can drop them off in the Ferris High School parking lot.

Sunshine Disposal & Recycling donates dumpsters every year and hauls away the trees.

Nick Geranios dropped his tree off on Sunday as he has done for years, after having four children go through Ferris High School.

“I got into the habit of participating in all the fundraisers,” Geranios said.

He likes supporting the all-nighter because it keeps the kids safe after their graduation, and it’s also nice because he doesn’t have to cut up his tree, he said with a chuckle.

Parents plan to continue fundraising and plan a COVID safe version of the all-nighter closer to graduation. Upcoming fundraisers include an online auction and plant sale.

Donations can be made all year lot by mailing a check to Ferris High School made out to the Ferris Senior All-Nighter.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Carla Price’s name.

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