The song lyric goes, “It’s a time for joy, a time for tears, a time we’ll treasure through the years. We’ll remember always, graduation day.”
And today is graduation day for about 2,600 seniors graduating from one of our Collier County public high schools. It is a special day: “When the ivy walls are far behind, no matter where our paths may wind. We’ll remember always, graduation day.”
OK, so none of our high schools have ivy climbing their walls, but our students and family members will no doubt make great memories this evening, and hopefully the students have great memories of their days attending high school here in Collier County.
The lyrics of the “Graduation Day” song, recorded by the Four Freshmen and Tommy Sands way back in the 1950s, and sung by the Arbors and Beach Boys in the 60s, speak to the sadness and happiness of the day: “Though we leave in sorrow, all the joys we’ve known, we can face tomorrow knowing we’ll never walk alone.”
Seniors do face the unknown, a real world existing outside the safe confines of a high school, be it on a college campus or in the workplace. But hopefully, thanks to values instilled in them by family and school, they are well prepared for what we hope to be a bright future.
On behalf of the School District of Collier County, I pass along heartfelt congratulations to all of our graduates – the members of the Class of 2011! Have a happy Graduation Day! And grads, please don’t forget about Project Graduation, from 11 o’clock tonight through 4 o’clock tomorrow morning, at the Greater Naples YMCA on Pine Ridge Road near Airport Road in Naples.
It’s a safe, fun way to celebrate with an all-night buffet, “laser battle,” karaoke, something called “money machine madness,” mechanical bull riding, arcade games, a photo booth, rock wall, lots of prizes, a deejay spinning the tunes for dancing, and a ton of other great stuff. The district thanks the YMCA and everyone involved, including a bunch of volunteers, for making Project Graduation the huge success it is. It’s a real life saver!
Congratulations again to all of our grads including my granddaughter Kristen who is graduating this evening from Palmetto Ridge High School. Way to go! You did it! Continue to dream your dreams and start in now to make them all come true!