TEWKSBURY — The graduating class of 2020 had a rough year. From spring athletes losing their last seasons of their sports, theatre kids losing their last show, and all students losing their senior trips, proms, senior weeks, graduation, and saying goodbye to their friends and teachers.
Traditionally, Tewksbury Memorial High School seniors would also participate in an event called “All Night Long.”
All Night Long, organized by the Parent Advisory Council, was held the night of graduation, which would have been June 5 for this year’s seniors. The newly graduated seniors would gather at the Wynn Middle School from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., and spend the night playing games, spending time with each other, and celebrating their achievements all night long!
This event was ticketed, with proceeds going to fund the event and get prizes for the famous raffles held during the night.
But, with the circumstances of this year, the All Night Long celebration was cancelled, along with the graduation ceremony, prom, senior project, and senior week.
However, the hope for this event was not lost, as the senior class officers met with the Parent Advisory Council to discuss how they could potentially still hold the event.
In the plans that Tewksbury Memorial High School released to its seniors, it included an All Day Long celebration to be held in early August.
This event, meant to be a revised version of the All Night Long celebration, would instead be held from 5 to 10 p.m., and feature a cookout, the raffles, and a chance for the seniors to sign each others’ yearbooks and say goodbye before they went off to their respective colleges.
However, on July 31, an email was sent out to seniors inviting them to a TMHS Class of 2020 Prize Giveaway.
This event, held on Facebook Live, was meant to serve as the newer and safer All Day Long celebration.
As the parents explained on the Live event, “With all the restrictions and uncertainties, we wanted to give you something but still wanted to keep you safe, so we decided to cancel the All Day Long event and turn it into this fun giveaway!”
The video was released live on Aug. 2, at 7 p.m., and had an audience that reached 104 viewers, consisting of students and parents.
In the video were four members of the Parent Advisory Council, standing among a beautifully decorated table filled with prizes. There were banners and tablecloths in the school colors of red and blue.
The live event lasted a little under an hour long, and was a mix of a raffle and trivia night.
For the raffle, they entered the names of every TMHS 2020 senior into a bright red bucket with the Tewksbury “T” on it, and drew names for prizes such as a smart TV, a speaker, Amazon gift cards, a keurig, hydroflasks, and the official Class of 2020 banner.
The trivia portion, signaled by a cowbell and shouts of “it’s trivia time!” Viewers would type in the answers as comments, and the first student or parent to guess correctly would win a Tewksbury Tumbler with a gift card inside. Some of the questions included:
“What was the last day of school?” (March 12, 2020) or “What is the address of Tewksbury Memorial High or “Who is the artist who sculpted a lot of our statues in Tewksbury?” (Mico Kaufman).
There were some technical difficulties in the livestream, with comments not going through, or the video freezing, or lags, but, as the organizers said, “We are not professional game show hosts.”
Despite the technical issues, the event was a success, and as one senior commented on the stream, “This just keeps getting better and better!”
Even though the graduation season is wrapping up, and students are heading off to college, it is great to see that there are innovative parents and friends who care and want to make this time memorable for the seniors who missed out on so much.