Holly Stork, Klamath Promise Steering Committee member and Klamath and Lake Counties SMART area manager, made all the seniors at Klamath Union High School go silent with one question:
How does $15,000 to $20,000 sound?
“The room fell silent,” Stork said. “I told them, ‘That is what we have to give you to honor all your efforts.’ I had their rapt attention.”
It didn’t hurt that she wore a bright-red graduation cap, and a gown, too.
Stork was promoting the upcoming Graduation Sensation: an event on June 2 to celebrate and reward the class of 2016 in downtown Klamath Falls.
“It’s going to be a wonderful event that celebrates their success and the journey they are embarking on,” Stork said.
The Graduation Sensation is the Klamath Promise’s big event this year. Stork has been instrumental in planning, including coming up with the event’s logo.
Starting at 2 p.m., seniors from every high school in Klamath County will meet at 11th and Main streets downtown. Dressed in their caps and gowns, they will march together down Main Street.
The Klamath Promise is reaching out to the community and businesses, encouraging them to line the streets and cheer the graduates on.
The parade ends in Veterans Memorial Park, where the Klamath Promise will be giving away scholarships to students falling into specific categories. As of Friday, May 13, $18,000 in scholarship funds had been raised so far.
With so many categories, Stork said there’s something for everyone.
Even students who are not going to college — those heading into the workforce or the military — will be eligible for gift card drawings.
And, it being a party, there will be cake.
Stork handed out applications and encouraged students to communicate with their counselors and the Klamath Promise. The Klamath Promise will continue to accept applications and donations until May 25.
She finished by reminding the seniors they are at a very unique point in their lives. There are many celebrations, many congratulations and many expectations.
“These are the days they’ll remember and cherish,” she said. “I encourage them to take part in everything, however big or small it seems. This event was custom designed for their benefit. To be something really beautiful, worthwhile and important.”