Giving Back: RB High Grad Nite

The Rancho Bernardo High School Grad Nite committee was awarded $2,000 for scholarships.

seniors this year get to "Race to the Finish" of this phase of their education—then race some more.

The night of graduation, hundreds of RB High seniors will head to for an all-night celebration with food, friends and, of course, car racing—the safe kind.

"Not only are we keeping them safe, we're keeping the community safe as well," said Liz Schwartz, chair of the RB High PTSA Grad Nite Committee.

The Rancho Bernardo Community Foundation, at its , awarded $2,000 to the Grad Nite Committee for scholarships.

Students pay about $110-$120 per person to attend the grad nite celebration, enacted at RB High more than a decade ago as a way to keep students in a safe, controlled environment on a night when celebrations often go awry.

The event used to be held on campus, but starting last year it was moved off-site due to a dwindling supply of parent and community volunteers, Schwartz said. Now arrangements are handled by Party Pals, and a smaller crew of volunteers (down to 50 from the 200 needed on-campus).

To help some students join in the fun, especially in the tough economy, the committee provides 15 scholarships to students who apply and demonstrate a financial need. It costs about $140 per student to attend the grad nite, meaning the fee students pay does not cover the entire cost. The committee fundraises throughout the year and receives donations from parents and the community to cover the rest.

About 450 students attend, Schwartz said.

"We are touched by the [foundation] and the fact that they're continuing to support our event," Schwartz said. "Through them and through others that donate through our community, we're able to provide this for our student body.

"We really appreciate the support."

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