To the Editor:

We know The Spectrum has always been loyal supporters of the New Milford High School Grad Party.

Therefore, I was extremely disappointed and distressed by your decision to give us a "thorn" (along with Roses) for our wine and beer-tasting party.

There is so much I could say in response to this but I will limit myself to three few main points:

1) To characterize a wine and beer tasting as a "drinking" party is unfair and a disservice, not only to us but to the wonderful local businesses who support us. It is an affordable night out for adults of legal drinking age where a minimal amount of alcohol is actually consumed.

2) I can respect the viewpoint that alcohol should not be used to raise money for school-based events. I disagree but I can certainly respect that opinion.

However, if that is one's view, then it is totally unfair to single out the Grad Party's wine tasting. Either is it okay to use alcohol to raise money for school events or it is not.

To say ours is different because we are sponsoring an alcohol-free event for the graduates is unfair. Aren't all school events alcohol free?

Also, the Grad Party is so much more than just an alcohol-free event. It is a safe place for all graduates to spend their evening.

Safe doesn't just mean no alcohol; it also means children not driving from party to party even when alcohol isn't served.

It means a place where all children, no matter how popular they might be, can celebrate their big night.

And it is one last chance for the entire class to be together. Therefore, to single us out as the one group that should not be allowed to use alcohol to raise money is unfair.

3) As everyone knows, these are tough economic times.

I am involved in two groups that are working hard to raise money, the Grad Party and the dog park committee. I can assure you it is not as easy as you seem to think it is.

Yes, there are many volunteers the night of the party. But prior to that, there is a very small group of very dedicated people -- many of whom, like me, no longer have children at the high school -- who work extremely hard to come up with the money.

Like it or not, events that serve alcohol are the best way to raise a large amount of money quickly. Trust me, we have used our "ingenuity and energy to come up with another option for raising funds."

If The Spectrum staff would like to join us at our next meeting, perhaps you have some great ideas for us as well!

Pam Lavender

New Milford