What is Project Graduation?
Project Graduation is a nation-wide tradition during the commencement season where graduating seniors make the conscious decision to celebrate free of alcohol and other drugs.

How it started

The original Project Graduation was held in Oxford Hills, Maine in 1980, a year after their deadliest commencement season, when 12 teenagers (five in one crash alone) lost their lives to drug and alcohol-related incidents.

Five years later in 1985 MaryLou Heink and Mike Ferger established Merritt Island High School Project Graduation after our community, like many others, had suffered accidents, overdose, and even loss of life due to post-graduation celebrations. Mr. Ferger heard about the program that was started in Maine and decided to bring it to Merritt Island High. The MIHS Project Graduation Organization has continued the program and there has not been a graduation night tragedy since. Project Graduation saves lives.

The mission of MIHS Project Graduation is to keep our seniors and community safe by reducing the number of young people involved in drug and/or alcohol related accidents on graduation night in the Merritt Island community.

Project Graduation is funded entirely by generous donations from businesses, parents & community partners along with fundraising. Project Graduation receives no funding from our school district, and is a 501(c)3 organization.


Event ChairCarla Hattaway

Treasurer – Dee Widrick

Secretary – Beverly Huff

Registration Chair – Deanna Townsend

Decorating – Jean Chagnon

Food – Jacqui Baxter

Publicity – Delisa Layne


Bingo – Melinda Niemeyer, Delisa Layne, Lisa Glass

Football Mania – Lisa Kercsmar

Crazy Cupid 5K – Bonnie Stephenson, Joan Logue, Christine Yarkin

Putt-Putt Golf – Carol Craig, Melinda Niemeyer

Bucket Drops – position open

Sonny’s Nights – Kara Boyd

Flocking – Kelly Haskins, Lisa Kercsmar, Beth Beil, Lisa Glass, Beverly Huff

Block Party for donations –Kara Boyd

Raffle – Delisa Layne