Marking their space: Seniors paint parking spots for Project Graduation fundraiser

As the class of 2016 awaited the upcoming school year, they looked forward to many of the perks of being a senior, including parking in the closer spaces near the gym, but as schedule pick-up loomed they were informed that that lot would be converted into a staff-only lot. There was a silver lining to the parking situation though. As parents on the Project Graduation committee created a fundraising opportunity that would allow the parking situation to be a little more appealing. For $20, seniors have the chance to purchase guaranteed spots for the entire year and paint them with their own, pre-approved design.

“Although we are in the far lot, we get to park closer [than everyone else],” senior Rebecca Firth said. “It’s also cool that we get to paint the spots and make them original. On mine I painted what represents me- like a bible verse to represent my faith, and my initials.”

Not only have the seniors benefited from the personalized spots, but the school, as a whole, is able to take away something positive from the experience.

“I think [the parking spots are] one more thing to improve and increase school spirit,”  principal Lane Buban said. “There are personalized ones and there are ones to do with the Vikings and the high school.”

Viking Club President and Chairman for Project Graduation Joyce Sutherland knew the fundraiser idea would be a hit from the beginning and has been pleased with the outcome.

“I’ve always known it would be a great idea for a fundraiser,” Sutherland said. “When I approached Mr. Buban he did not hesitate and thought it was a great idea too.”

Since the fundraiser was of no cost to the school, it became an easy idea to implement, and even easier for the popularity of the spots to take hold as other seniors want to paint their own spots.

“[The parking spots] have been received fairly well,” Buban said. “I know at first it was an issue with moving senior parking out of the mid-lot to the one across the street, but given the opportunity to paint their own parking spots, I thought the seniors would enjoy it.”

Not only was the painting of the spots an enjoyable event for the seniors, but many of their family members joined in on the fun.

“Beyond [being well received by the seniors], it had a bigger impact than I thought it would have,” said Buban. “Not only did [the seniors] take ownership of their parking spots, it turned out to be sort of a family event for a lot of seniors who were there with their mom, dad, sister and brother, and that was one of the cool things that I didn’t really anticipate.”

All proceeds from the fundraiser go towards funding Project Graduation, and seniors can continue to purchase spots throughout the year by contacting the Project Graduation commitee.