Erik Shaw, President and CEO of 5 Point presented Bridge City Project Graduation with a $10,000 check this morning to John Gothia, school officials and a group of enthusiastic seniors. 

According to Gothia, the event was in jeopardy due to the fact that donations were well below normal levels. Project Graduation usually raises $50,000 to 70,000. That allows them to give away really great prizes all through the night and offer fun activities and entertainment, such as a hypnotist. That’s what gets the grads to attend and stay until the end. “They come for the prizes,” said Gothia.

 “This should put us close to $30,000. We had $18,000 before this and there are lots of small donations still coming in.”  

The purpose of Project Graduation is to provide a safe alcohol and drug free environment for graduates on their big night. Deaths during accidents on graduation night are what prompted the Project Graduation movement by parents and schools around 20 years ago.

Because of the damage Hurricane Ike did to Bridge City, donations are down dramatically. People are still donating, but the amounts are lower because people are trying to rebuild their lives.

“These kid’s deserve it. Not many have gone through what these kid’s have, finishing their senior year living in a FEMA trailer.”

“We were looking for a way to help out the community of Bridge City,” said Shaw about 5 Point’s decision to donate the money.

“Employees heard about the situation in the news and said ‘There you go’ … It’s a productive way to help out the kids to have a great graduation.”

 “When something happens that leaves me speechless–and this did,” said Gothia. “We knew there would be a good response, but, we never had any idea anything like this would happen. 

“Our goal is to improve the quality of life for our members,” said Shaw.

Graduation is May 29. To contribute to Project Graduation, send to Bridge City Project Graduation, P.O. Box 1361, Bridge City 77611, or call Gothia at 882-1217.

About Penny LeLeux

Penny has worked at The Record Newspapers since 2006. A member of the editorial staff, she has "done everything but print it." Most frequently she writes entertainment reviews and human interest stories, with a little paranormal thrown in from time to time.She has been a lifelong member of the Orangefield community.