If you are new to the high school or college sports world you have probably never heard of Senior Night. But don’t worry! We’ve got all the info you need to make it a great night for athletes, coaches, cheerleaders, and parents.
First off, Senior Night is an opportunity to honor four years of hard work and excellence on the court, diamond, or field. It is a night of celebration as a team and as individuals. Usually these occur on the night of the last home game in the season. Sometimes nights include a dinner or dessert bar before the game, a speech from the coach or other influential individual, and then a ceremony where each senior player is honored for their efforts and contributions.
Follow these steps to get everything in order:
1) Talk to previous planners. Odds are that Senior Night has been happening at your school for quite a while. Find out who the previous planners were and get any information you can from them. See if they saved any programs or have pictures from previous events so that you can recycle old ideas that worked well. Find out where it is usually held and ask about traditions and expectations.
2) Determine your budget. Talk to your boosters club and to your school’s athletic department and find out how much money you can spend on your event. Ask around to figure out if parents and families have been expected to cover some of the cost of trophies or medals and/or the food. If they have, what was the average amount they contributed?
3) Reserve your location. If the event is held in the school cafeteria or dining hall, that’s great. But many times these events are held at local restaurants or event halls. Find out where it’s usually held and reserve the location as early as possible.
4) Gather your committee. Talk to all the moms and dads of the players and find out if they are willing to help with organization, set-up, creating the trophies/awards, and any other part of the event. Meet together once or twice to coordinate and then start delegating. This shouldn’t be a one-person stress fest!
5) Order the decorations. Make your night stand out by coordinating everything from the tablecloths to the centerpieces to flowers with your school’s colors and the sports represented that night. (Sports Roses are fantastic for this!)
6) Enjoy the night! There will be a lot of intermediate steps that will take time and planning, but with a good committee those things will fall into place. So remember to step back and enjoy the evening.
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