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Nonnewaug High School's Chief News Source

NHS Chief Advocate

Nonnewaug High School's Chief News Source

NHS Chief Advocate

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GradNite Clothing Drive Raises $1,500 for Graduating Class

Alexa Sweeney ’25
A huge box truck was filled to the brim with donations at the GradNite clothing drive — some even had to go into the front passenger seat.

WOODBURY — There are many creative ways Nonnewaug works to fundraise its most critical events. On April 27 Nonnewaug GradNite hosted its second annual clothing drive. 

GradNite is hosted every year on the night of graduation to give the graduating seniors a safe and sober night of fun. It is filled with games and raffles of big-ticket items needed for post-high school living, such as mini-fridges and AirPods. 

Christine Paige, the head of GradNite, is  prepared for this year’s event. She has been running the event since 2012 and knows the ins and outs of fundraising to be able to afford the night. 

The morning volunteers consisted of, from left, Kyleigh Paige, Alyssa Gravel, Christine Paige, and Samantha Kostka. Nicole Perssico, not pictured, also participated. (Alexa Sweeney)

“The clothing drive went really well,” Paige said. “It was definitely a success.”

The GradNite committee hosts two clothing drives per year, one in the fall and one in the spring. 

“The spring drive is always larger than fall as people are donating bulkier items from their winter wardrobes,” Paige explains. 

Once the drive is over, a company picks up everything and weighs the bags. The company then pays GradNite money based on the weight of the load. 

“We made approximately $1,500, which will really help fund our raffle at GradNite,” Paige said. “We have raffled off iPads, Apple Watches, AirPods, TVs, mini-fridges, microwaves, Yeti bottles and much more.” 

Paige stresses the importance of advertising the fundraising events and support from both the volunteers and community to be able to maximize profits and in turn, maximize the night of fun that the newly graduated will receive. 

“We had a lot of good feedback from the public saying how it helped them do some spring cleaning,” said Alyssa Gravel, a junior at NHS, noting the effects the clothing drive had on both GradNite and the community combined. “It also gave them somewhere to donate these items instead of throwing them out.”

Gravel decided to help out at the clothing drive because she sees the benefits of these drives on the planet, instead of throwing the clothes away, they are going to a place where they will be used again.

Students were eager to help out at the clothing drive, knowing how much it would benefit the senior class. (Alexa Sweeney)

Similarly, Nicole Perssico, also a junior at Nonnewaug, felt the effects of the drive on the community. 

“People were very generous with their donations,” Perssico states. “It seemed everyone wanted to help out and give back.”

Perssico was happy to help out and was amazed by the amount of bags donated. 

“I’d say at least 200 bags were donated,” Perssico said. 

At the end of the day, all of the volunteers felt good about what was donated and knew that it would help out the GradNite raffle immensely. 

“Overall it went extremely well,” Perssico explains. “Everyone had a positive attitude and wanted to support a good cause.”

Author’s note: GradNite is thankful for all of the clothes donated. Within the next few weeks, the committee is hosting quite a few more fundraisers so that GradNite is free and the prizes are as popular as they can be.

About the Contributor
Alexa Sweeney '25
Alexa Sweeney '25, Reporter
Alexa Sweeney is a first-year reporter for the Nonnewaug Chief Advocate. She is from Prospect and is the 2023-24 historian for the agriscience program. She shows rabbits and sheep at fairs around Connecticut through 4H. She was also a part of the Dairy CDE last spring and would like to try out a different one this coming year. She is currently enrolled in the natural resources and floriculture classes in the agriscience program and is highly involved within the FFA. Sweeney would like to become a nurse one day and is excited to report on all of the news around Nonnewaug and the agriscience program.
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