Each year, parents plan one final party for Lowell High School graduates. Known as the All-Nighter, the event typically takes graduates to multiple locations over the course of an evening where they participate in a variety of activities, enjoy some food and have a chance to win prizes.
“The Senior All-Nighter has been around [since] before the parents were seniors,” says Nicole Gaskin, a member of the 2020 parent committee. “As a planning committee, it was fun as each recalled and reminisced about their senior event.”
Since the All-Nighter is not an official school function, parents fundraise to keep the fun affordable. For 2020, the committee raised enough that it had money left over after the event. Students were consulted, and it was decided that Pink Arrow Pride should be the recipient of that extra money. A $500 check was presented to the organization to help with its mission of providing support to Lowell families facing a cancer diagnosis.
2020 All-Nighter: Keeping Seniors Safe During Pandemic
About a dozen parents made up the committee for the 2020 Senior All-Nighter, and they began their planning in August 2019. They never could have imagined a global pandemic would impact their plans.
“With everything closed down starting in March, we didn’t know if we’d be able to have the event,” Gaskin says. “Nonetheless, we continued to plan and move forward and said lots of prayers.”
Although the event had to be pushed back from May to June, the All-Nighter eventually took place. It involved a visit to Silver Lake for sand dune rides, outside games and a carnival shack. Then, graduates went to 3 Mile Project where they had their choice of activities that included movies, video games, basketball, a ninja course, a hypnotist show, a coffee bar and more.
“A small group of parents put a lot of work into making sure everyone was safe and that the proper safety measures were taken,” says Riley Fuller, who graduated with the Class of 2020 and is now studying clinical exercise science at Grand Valley State University. Participants were required to wear masks, and hand sanitizer was readily available.
Giving Back to the Community
Fundraising for the 2020 event wrapped up early in the year, before the COVID-19 shutdowns and restrictions were put into place. “The committee is so appreciative of all the support they received with their fundraising efforts,” Gaskin says. “[We] could not have done it without the financial support of the community.”
When the committee discovered it had money left over after the event, it decided to distribute some as seed money to future classes for their All-Nighter events. Then, they talked to students to decide what to do with the final $500.
“Pink Arrow was picked because we wanted to give back to the organization that was such a big part of our lives and impacted us in such a huge way,” Fuller explains.
Fuller was joined by Anna Gaskin and Kaitlyn Rankin in presenting a check to Teresa Beachum, who has organized Pink Arrow events for the past 13 years. Money raised by Pink Arrow funds the Lowell Clubhouse of Gilda’s Club, provides direct support to local families impacted by cancer and pays for two scholarship funds.
Gaskin is so grateful for the community support in making the 2020 All-Nighter a success. She hopes people will be equally as generous for this year’s Class of 2021 event, noting: “ Covid-19 has affected their entire senior year, and they deserve a little celebration for their accomplishments.”