3/8/2021 11:21:00 AM "A memorable, safe and sober event"
Juls Kropp, co-chair of Parents of Graduating Seniors (POGS), left, and Gretchen Pickett, POGS secretary, appreciate the teamwork among the 75 to 100 active POGS parents working to raise funds for the Senior Party for the estimated 150 graduates with the SHS class of 2021. Other POGS co-chairs for 2021 include Sara Beagle, Todd Looney and Abby Sandberg.
In 1987, a group of parents whose children were set to graduate from Stewartville High School were concerned for their teens' safety on graduation night. Out of love for their kids, the group started Parents of Graduating Seniors (POGS), an organization that plans the annual Senior Party to provide a memorable, safe and sober event for eligible seniors graduating from SHS. Gretchen Pickett, the secretary of this year's POGS group, said she joined POGS because she saw how the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has affected her daughter Mckenna and Mckenna's classmates with the SHS class of 2021. "I wanted to be a part of POGS to be able to provide this graduating class a little bit of normalcy that has been taken from them," Pickett said in an email. "No prom last year, no homecoming this year. So many of the fun things about being a senior in high school, that all adults can think back on, have not happened for these kids." Juls Kropp, a co-chairperson for the 2021 POGS group and the mother of SHS senior Connor Kropp, recalled attending one of the first annual POGS parties as an SHS graduate. "I still have photos from that night," she said in an email. "I got involved with POGS as a parent when my oldest graduated in 2017, again in 2019, and now Connor is my third graduating senior. Plus, I'll have one graduating in 2026!..." For more on this story pick up your copy of the March 9 Stewartville STAR.