Safe environments allow Ahwatukee's Thunder, Pride graduates to celebrate - Ahwatukee Foothills News: News

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Safe environments allow Ahwatukee's Thunder, Pride graduates to celebrate

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Posted: Tuesday, May 20, 2014 9:17 am

In an effort to keep graduates safe, Desert Vista and Mountain Pointe high schools are gearing up for grad night celebrations after graduation ceremonies this Thursday night.

“Grad night is a time that parents have planned and prepared for students to close out their high school experience in a fun and safe environment,” said Dr. Anna Battle, principal of Desert Vista. “Grad night provides a time for old friends to experience one more night that may be the last opportunity as they all go different directions in their lives.”

Desert Vista will celebrate its grad night at Ultra Star Multi-tainment Center in Maricopa, and Mountain Pointe will celebrate its grad night at Lucky Strike in downtown Phoenix.

“Grad nights are organized nationally to give high school grads a unique and memorable once-in-a-lifetime celebration,” said Heather Cole, president of Desert Vista’s grad committee. “The philosophy and ideals behind grad nights are to provide a safe evening free of vehicles, alcohol and drugs and filled with spectacular fun among fellow grads and friends for one last time.”

Nearly 30 parent volunteers assisted with grad night preparations.

“This all-night celebration will begin immediately following commencement and will include professional entertainment, sporting activities, music, dancing, lots of food, prizes and camaraderie,” Cole said. “The committee has received donations from DV Booster Clubs, local merchants, alumni, families and friends.”

There will be 300 graduating seniors attending Desert Vista’s grad night.

“Desert Vista has been instrumental in having an event for our students for many years. Parent volunteers and administrations wanted our new graduates to have an opportunity to celebrate one last time as their class,” Cole said. “As parents of Desert Vista seniors, we hope that our efforts will result in a first-class social event that will insure our children’s safety as they celebrate this momentous time in their lives.”

For more information about Desert Vista’s grad night, email

Trish Kossick, chair member of Mountain Pointe’s grad night, said it was an easy decision to have their grad night at Lucky Strike because the previous grad night had much success at the location.

“Mountain Pointe has been doing grad night for at least 10 years, and I know when I first heard about grad night it was over at GameWorks at Arizona Mills,” she said. “Lucky Strike has been open a few years and really got great reviews from the students.”

There are nearly 205 students at Mountain Pointe who have signed up for grad night, and Kossick said that they’re hoping to increase the number to 250.

“The venue includes so much… it includes bowling, arcade games, billiards and we can bring in our own entertainment, too,” said Mondai Adair, chair member.

Students interested in attending grad night can buy their tickets the day of graduation this Thursday, for $50. “It’s a safe, alcohol-free environment for the kids. A lot of kids don’t have anywhere to go for grad night, so we want a safe place they all can go to,” Adair said.

For additional information about Mountain Pointe’s grad night, visit

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or

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