ORHS Operation Graduation: An Ocean of Fun

Casino deal Casino dealer Greg Schoonover with recent ORHS graduates at Operation Graduation. Photo courtesy of Ann Allison.

Close to 500 seniors and their guests enjoyed a night of Cruzin’ into the Future with an Ocean of Fun! ~ the Operation Graduation event held at Oak Ridge High School all night Saturday night after graduation. Since ORHS had the late Commencement slot this year at Sam Houston State University, the graduates had until 1 a.m. to make their way to the high school before the doors were locked and the vessel set sail.

The school was transformed into a cruise ship, complete with a boat ramp and various photo op areas, including a tiki room. The cruise passengers enjoyed a night of food, casino games, a video arcade, pool tables and air hockey…and that was just in the main hall and cafeteria… the main deck of the ship. There was also a recording studio, a tatoo area, a jam packed bingo room, a DJ and dance floor.

For the competitive passengers on the ship, there were all night volleyball and ping pong tournaments. The winning volleyball team split the $300 cash prize among the seniors on the team. The main raffle winners were announced throughout the night. Prizes included a wii, a Nikon Coolpix camera, flat screen televisions, numerous $100 cash prizes, etc. The casino winners exchanged their chips for raffle tickets in hopes of winning the cash prizes available in the casino.

Ship buffet lines were filled with food generously donated by local restaurants. The passengers also enjoyed Cane’s tea. By 5 a.m. the passengers were ready to disembark and head home for some sleep after a night at sea.

This event would not be possible without the unselfish time commitment and dedication of  key volunteers that kept the planning moving forward during the year. It is truly a team effort. Lori McElvany provided the leadership of this group of motivated individuals. Barbara Schoonover was the steady force and guide along the way.

Mike and Cindy Martin organized the food donations and would like to sincerely thank the following establishments for their generous contributions to this important event:

Brio Tuscan Grille       Double Dave’s Pizza
Nielsen’s Bakery          Cane’s
Fox & Hound                  Pei Wei
Carrabba’s                     Gatti’s Pizza
Red Robin                       Chick-fil-A
Grotto Ristorante        Sweet Tomatoes                 Culver’s                         Lindy’s
Donelly’s Pizza              Macaroni Grill                   Donuts donated by Jackie Butler

A special thank you to all of the parents of ORHS students that donated 2 liter bottles of drinks.

Please consider getting involved as a member of the Operation Graduation Team. There’s a place for you! 

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Chuck Briese, Oak Ridge Now

[avatar user="cbriese" size="thumbnail" align="left"] Chuck Briese has been a resident of South Montgomery County since 1988. He and his lovely and patient wife, Leslie, have six sons, with only one left to finish high school. Chuck has been a Cub Scout leader, a Little League baseball coach, a church youth leader, and a general troublemaker over the course of the past 25 years. He is obsessed with his lawn, and likes restaurants that serve food that fills up the plate. He has a tendency to tilt at windmills, which may explain why he started Oak Ridge Now.

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