WESTFIELD, NJ — The Westfield High School class of 2017 stayed up until the early hours of the morning on Saturday to celebrate their graduation at the 28th consecutive Project Graduation BASH. The event began June 23 following the WHS commencement ceremony and took place at Riocochet Health and Racquet Club in South Plainfield.

BASH is sponsored and organized by the Optimist Club of Westfield. Optimist Club members volunteer as chaperones or in other supporting roles coordinating activities of the event to ensure the special tradition of BASH continues. BASH began in 1990 as a reaction to an increase in rates of car accidents on the night of graduation. The main purpose of the event is to keep students safe on the night of graduation and to provide a fun, alcohol and substance-free party, and it has been successful in doing so: The average turnout of BASH is 85 percent of graduates. All students are given a bus pass to the event and are not required to pay, but donations are requested.

“It really is the opportunity to be together with your senior class friends one last time,” explained event chairperson Darielle Walsh. “We are grateful that parents encourage their students to go to BASH. The Optimist Club is very grateful to the sponsors and supporters.”

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The event ran from 10:30 p.m. on Friday to 4 a.m. on Saturday. Activities lasted throughout the night, including pool activities, massages, caricatures, manicures and fortune telling. Students also had access to the gym, where they could play games such as pickleball, racquetball, volleyball and basketball. Food was provided to students throughout the night as well, from places such as Hershey’s Subs, Rock ‘n’ Joe’s and Domino’s Pizza. Students were able to choose from an array of ice creams and desserts, snacks and sodas. DJ Kyle Hughes provided music throughout the night.

“It was definitely what you made of it,” graduate Nina Alameno said. “I went in with the attitude that this is our last high school-sponsored function and probably the last time I will see some of the peers I have grown up with for the last four to 12 years. I made the most out of it and ended up having so much fun.”

Sponsors included:

Lead Sponsor - $ 2,000

Westfield Municipal Alliance - PANDA

Platinum Sponsor - $1,500

Westfield High School PTSO

Gold Sponsor - $1,000

Fairview Cemetery Northwestern Mutual, Jeff Rembisz

Westfield Area Y

Westfield Area Y’s Men’s Club

Westfield Recreation Department

Westfield Democratic Committee

Westfield Republican Committee

Silver Sponsor - $500

Addams Tavern

Coldwell Banker Realtors,

Jayne Bernstein - Jennifer Trupchak

Coldwell Banker Realtors, Frank D. Isoldi

Ferraro’s Restaurant

Gialluisi Homes

Northfield Bank

RE/MAX Properties Unlimited, Scott Gleason, CRS

Rob Shaffer Wealth Management, AAMS, CRPC

Rotary Club of Westfield

Bronze Sponsor - $250

Dr. Paul Arfanis, D.D.S

Jack and Lynn Bilman

Janice M. Bryk, LCSW

Dr. Thomas M. Burns, DMD PA

Coldwell Banker Realtors, Arlene Post

Caring Contact, Inc

Cosimo’s Restaurant and Pizzeria

Gersch Orthodontics

Gateway Mortgage Group, Neil Grote

Amy Kaufman, Accountant

David Leiz Custom Woodworking, Inc.

Levinson Axelrod, P.A., Adam Rothenberg

Limani Seafood Grill

Mack Camera & Video Services

Dr. Ralph Manes, DMD

McIntyre’s Locksmith and Lawnmower Service

Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, David H. Rehrer

Michael Robert Construction

Morgan Stanley, Raymond Kostyack

Multimodal Container Consulting, LLC,

Robin Lynch

Mojave Grille

Don & Penny Pray

The Portasoft Company

Shannon Hill Riding Academy

Shovlin Mattress Factory

Sir Speedy Westfield

$mart Money LLC, Bob Bridgeman

The Gran Centurions Catering & Banquets

Theresa’s Restaurant

Tiffany Natural Pharmacy

Top Line Appliance Center

Howard Trickey & Lisa Gaines

Weldon Materials, Inc.

Mildred Tabor-Winkle, CFP

Westfield Dental Associates, PA

Westfield Financial Planning, Mark Swingle, CFP

Westfield Wealth, Andrew M. Christakos, AIF

Westfield Pediatric Dental Group

Your Campus Consultant, LLC, Jill Siegel, MD, EdM