The Triplicate newspaper recently reported that graduating seniors from Del Norte High School will have a Safe and Sober Graduation celebration next week, thanks in part to inmates at Pelican Bay State Prison (PBSP).

The prison’s Alcoholics Anonymous group conducted an inmate food sale, offering items from KFC and Fred Meyer, which raised $1,800 for Del Norte County schools.

The newspaper quoted PBSP Community Resource Manager Robert Losacco as explaining that proceeds from the sale had to go toward a cause that ties in with the sponsor’s mission.

Staff sponsor Karla Bauer said that when the inmates find out that the funds will benefit local students, many of them simply donate the money without actually buying the food.

“They don’t want the kids to end up here like them,” the newspaper quoted Bauer as saying. “Maybe they didn’t get a DUI, but maybe it’s a commitment offense, and they were drunk or high when they did it. They don’t want these kids to follow in their footsteps.”

Safe and Sober Graduation will be at the Del Norte County Fairgrounds following the Del Norte High School graduation on June 13. The event is open to graduating classes from charter schools and Sunset High School.

“It’s a fun event for the kids to get away from the big parties where there’s a lot of drinking,” the newspaper quoted volunteer Debbie Olson as saying.

The event will feature a mechanical bull, go-karts, bounce houses, food and raffle prizes for the Class of 2014.