Proud Parents Prepare SMHS Grad Night Surprise

Bill Lau paints a set piece that will be used in this year’s Grad Night at San Marino High School.
Bill Lau paints a set piece that will be used in this year’s Grad Night at San Marino High School.

The graduating seniors at San Marino High School this year are going international for their Grad Night, all thanks to their hardworking parents and fellow members of the community.
After a year of toiling away in the parking garage above Wells Fargo bank, those behind this year’s Grad Night production are just about ready for moving day, which precedes the annual Light Up event by about two weeks. Grad Night is set for Friday, June 1.
“Our committee’s awesome,” said Cheryl Cabot, the main Grad Night chair this year. “I have to say, it’s been a really great experience. It’s been a lot of work, but it’s worth it.”
Last week, volunteers were hard at work painting the pieces that will become the props for Grad Night, which this year is themed “Passport Around the World.” After graduation on June 1, the outgoing seniors all will go to the SMHS gymnasium, which will have been transformed into a travel- and landmark-themed presentation that will keep the graduates busy with fun and festivities until morning.
In addition to Cabot, parents Cynthia Ary, Dina McCall (both co-chairs for the creative side) and Michele Carter (the business chair) comprise the Grad Night committee this year.

Photo by Zane Hill / OUTLOOK Cynthia Ary (from left), Cheryl Cabot, Michele Carter and Dina McCall are this year’s Grad Night chairs.
Photo by Zane Hill / OUTLOOK
Cynthia Ary (from left), Cheryl Cabot, Michele Carter and Dina McCall are this year’s Grad Night chairs.

“I was most afraid of this part, but this has been the most fun part,” Cabot admitted. “We have met so many people we never would have met otherwise. It’s the most stressful, but it’s been my favorite part. All of our ideas are coming to life.”
The seniors are not privy to these ideas. Although they voted on the theme as juniors, Grad Night has ultimately been a surprise for the new graduates. The event functions as a lock-in and was envisioned as a way to ensure SMHS graduates celebrate their milestone in a safe and responsible way.
Preparation for the event also serves to bring parents, alumni and community members together, who through their donations, labor and planning are able to assemble professional-quality set pieces and presentations.
“We are amazed at how many people have hidden talents that we didn’t know about,” Ary said. “Everybody wants to come and help. It’s just fun.”

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