Oceanside senior Vincent Celeste, 18, might have been the happiest teenager in the room — he won a drawing for a 2013 Ford Fiesta — but he certainly wasn’t the only happy high school graduate at the 23rd annual Dawn Delirium event at Warehouse 5 in Island Park early on the morning of June 25.
“I heard my name called, and there was an instant of disbelief,” Celeste said. “I remember running up to the microphone, and it really felt good.”
Celeste got the car the day after the drawing. He said that he had been driving it around and plans, at least for now, to keep it.
Celeste will start classes at Nassau Community College in September, where he plans to study computers.
Hundreds of Oceanside High School seniors and their dates gathered at the hall for the post-prom party sponsored by the Parent-Teacher Association and designed to let seniors continue the prom experience in a drug- and alcohol-free environment.
“It’s a great place for kids to hang out after the prom,” Celeste said. “Parents are worried about teens drinking and driving, so they set this up.”
He added that most of the students honor the ban on drinking because “they don’t let kids who are drunk in the door,” and the event is a fun evening and early morning.
The PTA raffled off $5,000 in prizes in the early-morning hours before the big car giveaway, including a television set and coffee machines. In order to win a prize, a senior had to be present at the hall, sober and meet all the requirements for graduation.
Local restaurants donated the food for the evening’s festivities, and local stores donated most of the prizes. Most of the $30,000 needed for the event, however, was raised through the sales of $5 “Sponsor a Senior” raffle tickets. Celeste said that his grandparents had purchased more than a dozen tickets, which gave him a better chance of winning. “It was one of the tickets that he bought that won me the car,” he said. “I called him as soon as I got home to thank him.”