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Grad Night Fundraisers Lead To Disneyland
Riverbank High School seniors are looking forward to a special trip next spring, getting ready to head to Senior Night festivities at Disneyland. Between now and then, some fundraisers are planned and the Homecoming game hosted by the Bruins earlier this month also featured an appearance by Tequilas Mexican Restaurant, helping out with a fundraiser for the Class of 2013.

Parent volunteer Traci Codde started the program in 2010, wanting her son to have the chance to enjoy the grad night program that closes down Disneyland to everyone but high school seniors for that special night. It had been done in the past but not for several years until Codde worked to get it going again.

"The program starts with a zero balance every school year and with the help of our community, my leg work and the students getting out there to promote our fundraisers it all comes together and we raise about $16,000," Codde explained. "We have support from the Kohl's Cares Program, Black Oak Casino donates to local communities, Staples, Pepsi, Costco, Cool Hand Luke's for our drive through dinner, which we were the first in town to do as a fundraiser, and Galaxy Theatre as well."

Codde said the program was well received and since students really enjoy the opportunity to travel with classmates to Disneyland, making it an annual event just seemed like the right thing to do. And even though she no longer has students at Riverbank High School - her oldest son is in the National Guard and her youngest son lives in Phoenix, Arizona where he is going to school - she wanted to stay involved.

"I love nothing more than to be a part of a community that my kids grew up in and that my husband and I became a part of. I strongly believe in helping the kids in our community and I choose to take students to Grad Night at Disneyland," Codde said. "It is so gratifying and so worth it. To make memories for kids that may have never been to Disneyland."

She said school officials, including Riverbank High principal Christine Facella and her staff, have been great to work with and supportive of the effort as well.

Next up is a December fundraiser at Cool Hand Luke's, set for Dec. 10 and 11. It is a drive up Chicken Dinner that includes a half chicken, rice pilaf, green beans with bacon and a dinner roll. Tickets are $10 each and benefit the Grad Night to Disneyland program. The trip is in May.

"You don't even have to get out of your car," Codde said. "We serve about 500 dinners each night. All the food is prepared at Cool Hand Luke's by their staff and served out fresh depending on how many meals you have purchased.

"I am so proud of this fundraiser and I am proud of our community for supporting our kids of our community. The more money our students raise the less they pay out of pocket at the end."