The senior class of Mission Viejo High celebrated with race cars, ziplines and lots of smiles.
Thursday night started with the graduation ceremony, and afterward the class of about 630 enjoyed a huge dinner catered by Outback Steakhouse.
Then came the buses, who trucked about 530 students off to the indoor go kart raceway K1 Speed in Irvine. Once there, students were chaperoned by a small army of parent volunteers—about 60 in all, said Grad Night President Candy Wallace.
The party lasted all night long. It's a huge undertaking that requires a year of planning, Wallace said. But she said it's more than worth it.
“It keep kids safe on one of the most dangerous nights of their lives," she said. "A lot of sad things happen on proms and graduations. We take them to a location, they party, they have fun without drugs and without alcohol—or their cell phones I might add—and it just comes from the biggest part of my heart to keep kids safe.”
Last year students spent the night in La Jolla. One year a Hornblower ship took them out in San Diego.
“We’ve been all over the place,” Wallace said.
And it takes a big effort to keep kids safe that night, she said.
“We have a triple-check security system to make sure every kid comes in, signs up and arrives at the venue," she said. "We know all the shenanigans that go on and we’re prepared for it. But 99.9 percent of the kids are great kids, they come for the right reasons, they have a great time and all of the parent volunteers have a great time just watching the kids. It reinforces our faith in the future leadership of our country.”