Sunday, September 23rd was a beautiful fall day for the annual Windham High School Project Graduation golf tournament. The event, which Project Graduation co-chair Robin Mullins says is the group’s biggest fundraiser, reached and even slightly exceeded their $8000 fundraising goal.
Ten teams competed in the event, Mullins said, and over $6000 was raised through sponsorships from local businesses. The group also raffled off some amazing prize items of which Mullin thanks the generosity of the local business community.
|The Rolfe Team. In memory of Crystal Rolfe|
This year, the tournament had a bittersweet component. It was dedicated to the mother of a senior, Chrystal Rolfe, who unexpectedly passed away in June. “She would have definitely been heavily involved in Project Graduation,” Mullins said. Her family was very involved at the tournament, Mullins said, and a group of family and former co-workers, called The Friends of Chrystal Rolfe, collectively raised $440 for the event.
Because the group spearheading Project Graduation fundraising is different each year, organization can be difficult even with events that have happened previously. Mullins said it feels like “starting from scratch.” This year, however, she hopes to pass on what she learns to the group that comes next. She plans to compile notes on each activity to give to the next class.
Project Graduation, which originated in the Oxford Hills area here in Maine in 1980, is a greatly anticipated event for many senior classes. In Windham, the details are kept secret, and the fundraising goal is lofty at $31,000. “It’s important to offer the kids an option that is chem free so that we know they’re safe,” said Mullins. She added that it’s also the last time they’ll be together as a class. And with no schoolwork to worry about, they can just let loose and have fun together.
Mullins and the rest of the Project Grad 2019 have their work cut out for them. Fundraising for Project Graduation for the incoming seniors can’t begin until the previous class is finished. For the class of 2019, fundraising began in May of 2018. So far, efforts have included selling concessions at the Gambo Fields, a booth at Summerfest, a yard sale that raised almost $1100, and the golf tournament.
Fundraisers in the next month include the Homecoming Dance on September 29th; 50/50 raffles at football games; a “shopping extravaganza” on October 10th at the North Windham Union Church where multiple vendors will be renting tables to sell their wares; and participating in the Windham Athletic Boosters Craft Fair, where they will sell pies and clothing in conjunction with Bob the Screen Printer. In November, the group will have two pallet parties on November 3rd, one at 1 pm and one at 4 pm, at the Windham Hill United Church of Christ.
Fundraising will continue until their goal is met. They aim for one to two activities per month, Mullins said. Community members can find information about fundraising events for Project Graduation on their website, .