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Support your local all-night grad party

So when I was a high school senior, I was an idiot. Sure, I was the starting center for our football team, earned salutatorian status in our class and even won a first place medal in the district speech tournament, but this is not a Braggy Brian column. (That's next week.) What I'm referring to is how, despite all these senior successes, I still took part in activities on graduation night that proved how my 17-year-old head contained 100 percent bone.

In fact, when I seriously consider some of those pursuits, I'm lucky to be alive. And that recognition, more than anything else, is what makes me shudder like a Republican hearing the phrase "presidential nominee Donald Trump." You see, my daughter is now embarking on her final 90 days of high school ...

Don't get me wrong. She's a fantastic kid and I totally trust her. Plus, she's a girl, so right away she's at least 90 percent more intelligent than every boy in her age group. But the fact remains that she is in that age group: 17 years old.

The indestructible generation, where nothing can penetrate youth's protective shell. "Bring it on!" you screamed at the heavens back then. "And keep bringing it 'til I tell you to stop, which will be NEVER! WHOO HOO!!"

There were an awful lot of us in the '80s and early '90s who were deceived by this lethal concoction of immaturity and energy. We didn't know what we didn't know and so naturally, we knew it all. But when an unfortunate few of our peers were smacked around on graduation night by that scoundrel called Life, it revealed just how dangerous that belief can be.

Luckily, out of the ashes of the horrible, something celebratory rose up, and it was the all-night grad party. The idea is simple yet brilliant. On their final night together, you create a safe environment for the entire senior class to party. Load them up with prizes, food, music and tons of fun. But more importantly, give them one last chance to make lovely memories with cherished friends instead of unpleasant memorials to fallen classmates.

There are several all-night grad party committees in the Twin Ports that need your help. Money is tight and they're desperate for assistance. It's not a stretch to say that if all-night grad parties don't survive, some of our kids might not either. Take a look at the addresses below and, even if you don't have a senior, give what you can. Donations are sometimes tax-deductible and your gift will help keep these vital end-of-year activities going.

• Hermantown ANGP, 4335 Hawk Circle Drive, Hermantown, MN 55811

• Duluth East ANGP, 301 N. 40th Ave. E., Duluth, MN 55804

• Denfeld ANGP, 401 N. 44th Ave. W. Duluth, MN  55807

• Superior High School Project Graduation, 2600 Catlin Ave., Superior, WI 54880

• Proctor Chem-Free Grad Party, P.O. Box 1086, Proctor, MN 55810

Sorry for the serious tone this week, but my kid — all our kids — are worth it. I'll get back to the Trump jokes next week, if I can find where I put them.

Probably under the toupee, but looking there always gets me kind of queasy.

Brian Matuszak is the founder of Rubber Chicken Theater and invites you to follow him and his theater company on Twitter at twitter.com/rchickentheater, like them on Facebook at Rubber Chicken Theater, and visit their website at RubberChickenTheater.com. If your school’s all-night grad party is not listed above, contact the main office and they can set you up.

Brian Matuszak

Brian Matuszak is the founder of Rubber Chicken Theater and invites you to follow him and his theater company on Twitter at twitter.com/rchickentheater, like them on Facebook at Rubber Chicken Theater and visit their website at RubberChickenTheater.com.

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