News and Events

The Tobacco Free Partnership Sponsors the 2019 DeSoto High School Project Graduation
May 31, 2019

The community of DeSoto County has united once again to offer our best wishes to our high school graduates by hosting the annual Project Graduation Celebration! Project Graduation is organized by a local committee and supported by many businesses and leading organizations in DeSoto County. The Tobacco Free Partnership of DeSoto County was honored to help sponsor this year's event, which creates a drug-and-alcohol free celebration for youth.

Project Graduation is held in the DeSoto High School Gymnasium from 10 PM – 3 AM. The celebration is open to all graduating seniors and a pre-approved guest of their choice. Upon arrival, each student is greeted and checked in. Once students enter the building, they are not able to leave. In order to earn prizes, youth must stay remain until the very end. This year, we had nearly 200 youth in attendance.

During the celebration, the students mix and mingle with their peers, enjoy an endless amount of grub, win prizes every half hour, and play games in which they earn tickets to be redeemed for prizes at the end of the night.

In addition to the night’s festivities, there is also a guest hypnotist. During the hypnosis, everyone comes together and watches 25 youth volunteers undergo hypnosis. It is certainly a hysterical act. Things get a tad more serious just before the night comes to an end. Youth hear from a local community member, and former DHS student, who was involved in a drinking and driving fatality. He openly shares his story, how it impacted so many lives, and begs youth to not make the same mistake.

The event is concluded with a final round of prize giveaways which value thousands of dollars and include but are not limited to… miscellaneous gift cards, laptops, three $250 cash prize winners, two $500 cash prize winners, and one $1,000 grand prize winner.

Like previously mentioned, in order to earn prizes, youth must stay at the event until the very end. Sadly, this year’s grand prize winner left early, and therefore forfeited her $1,000 cash prize. The student who was chosen second gladly accepted the cash!

The event is a lot of work, but certainly a great cause and enjoyable for both students and volunteers! The night is packed with food, prizes, and fun, encouraging the students to stay and celebrate one of the biggest nights of their lives, in a drug, alcohol, and tobacco free way!

The Tobacco Free Partnership is looking forward to helping with the event next year. If you are interested in sponsoring or volunteering the night of, please contact Leslie Bickett, Project Graduation Committee Chair