It takes a lot of work and dedication by a lot of people to make saving 10,000 lives over a span of 10 years possible, but that’s exactly what Oro Valley’s Project Graduation program has done.

Project Graduation kicked off the 10th year of planning for graduation-night programs last week. Project Graduation provides a venue for graduates of Ironwood Ridge, Canyon Del Oro and Amphitheater High School to celebrate rather than going into the streets and making bad decisions.

To kick off the planning to keep the Class of 2013 safe, Oro Valley Police Chief Danny Sharp gave credit where credit is due. He presented a plaque to Councilwoman Mary Snider, who started the program 10 years ago.

The new year is off to a good start, with the Oro Valley Optimist Club standing by their continued promise to help community youth. Lyra Done, in representing the Optimist Club, presented a $2,500 check.

“I believe in project graduation,” Done said.

A large group of students representing area high schools also attended the Sept. 14 breakfast held at the Hilton El Conquistador. Students from past Project Graduation events talked about the memories that were created, and others talked about their growing excitement for their own celebrations in May.

To make Project Graduation a success, organizations rely heavily on donations from businesses, residents and fundraisers. The major fundraiser that is already coming together is the annual car show that will be held at Canyon Del Oro High School on Oct. 20.

The 10th Annual Oro Valley Cup Golf Tournament will be held on Feb. 1.

For more information, visit the Project Graduation website at infor@projectgradaps.com.

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