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It wasn’t the best weather to be running a car wash in, but it was for a great cause.

MasterLube locations around Billings and Laurel hosted car washes for local high schools and donated all of their proceeds, products and labor from oil changes on Saturday to help raise money for graduation celebrations.

The all-night parties for graduating seniors at West, Central, Senior, Skyview and Laurel high schools are drug- and alcohol-free and give kids a safe option for celebrating graduation — a chance to spend one last time together with classmates.

“It’s the one last big thing the entire class gets to do together,” said Senior High graduate-to-be Alli Kieckbusch.

Senior, which raised more than $9,000 last year for its “Rad Grad” celebration, commandeered MasterLube’s Grand Avenue location.

“I’m grateful as a parent that the community supports it,” said Julie Whitworth, whose daughter is graduating. “It’s a safe place for them to go and celebrate.”

She estimated that about 60 students and 40 adults volunteered this year.

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MasterLube has participated in the fundraiser for more than 20 years and raised about $60,000 between all schools last year, said West High School parent Tari Broderick.

“It’s quite remarkable,” she said while students and parents from West scrubbed cars at the King Avenue West MasterLube.

That money gives organizers options for rewarding graduates, who can win prizes and participate in a wide variety of games and contests.

Students from West looking forward to their “Bear Bash” echoed the same sentiments as Kieckbusch.

While graduation is exciting, the knowledge that many graduates will soon go their separate ways can be bittersweet.

“It makes me so sad,” said West senior Haley Berterand.

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