|Post Prom: memorable nightcap to evening of fun|
|Written by Brenda Johnson Brandt|
Bungee basketball, laser tag, blacklight dodge ball, Just Dance 2, blind volleyball, Minute To Win It, blackjack and craps.
It all began at midnight after the elegant Prom banquet, Grand March and dance.
Post Prom party activity has been a routine for Holyoke High School for close to three decades. And it seemingly just keeps getting better.
Committee members strive to add new ideas to make a fun ending to an evening to remember.
Bungee basketball made its debut at this year’s Post Prom and was a popular event. Participants
Gone are the tuxes, heels, boutonnieres, corsages and jewels. Traces of Prom hairdos are still evident, and carefully-applied make-up is still there, if but smudged just a little.
Out come the shorts and T-shirts. Casual attire all-around is the dress for Post Prom as students move fast in order to stay awake at the 12-4 a.m. event.
Genuine laughter came from all corners of Holyoke High School early Sunday morning at this year’s Post Prom celebration, decorated with a Mardi Gras theme.
With sheets hanging across the volleyball net, a challenge was added to the game as players weren’t quite sure where the ball would be coming from.
Blacklight dodge ball was organized in the wrestling room, laser tag wound through the dark halls of the high school, black jack and craps tables were set up in the commons area and Wii dance games and minute to win it options were located on the gym floor too.
A new bungee basketball activity was a real attraction. A 25-foot inflatable court was filled with air. Two players donned their harnesses, facing their own basket. A bungee rope connected the two players’ harnesses, allowing them to pull their opponent toward their own basket.
Just as a player was about to score, he’d be yanked backwards for some flying fun. It was as much fun for observers as for the players themselves.
Kali Drees gets her Mardi Gras beads from Tracy Trumper at the front
Skyler Dittmer and Brittney Prottsman sign in with Post Prom chair
While fun is a priority for planners, they’re quick to point out the reason for Post Prom is to provide a safe alternative for youth. “Our number one goal is for kids to have a fun time and to get home safely,” said Post Prom chair Trudy Herman.
Five years ago, the local Beta Sigma Phi sorority took the reins for Post Prom from organizers who had been doing it for years—Benita Rumold, Susan Vogelgesang and Linda Sandstrom, to name just a few.
Organizers now are simply called the Post Prom committee. All those who have worked with this activity through the years should be commended for their time and commitment to providing a safe alternative for Prom night.
This year, 110 youth attended Post Prom, which is by far the highest number in the five years they’ve been coordinating it, said Herman.
All HHS and Alternative High juniors and seniors are invited to Post Prom, whether or not they attend the actual Prom, said Herman.
Maury Kramer is the blackjack dealer as Post Prom participants try their luck. Students pictured from
Students check in so organizers can make sure all who said they would be attending are indeed there. If someone doesn’t show up, their parents are notified.
Likewise, if students leave before a designated time, parents are notified.
Tickets are earned by Post Prom participants as they win games throughout the evening.
At 3:30 a.m., students wrote their names on the backs of their winning tickets, which were placed in a raffle drum for a drawing.
Thanks to the generosity of local businesses and individuals, organizers had a large budget for prizes.
Thirty-two prizes were given out this year. Herman explained for the first 13, only seniors’ tickets were in the drawing. For the next 11 prizes, juniors’ tickets were added. And for the last eight, underclassmen and out-of-town guests’ tickets were in the prize drawing.
Holyoke Marketplace donated food quite generously for Post Prom, as the safe alternative for youth is a concept they believe in wholeheartedly.
Throughout the community, donations of prizes or money to go towards prizes or expenses have continued to be strong.
Herman said they are always open to suggestions for additions or changes for Post Prom.
Initially, in the early 1980s, Post Prom was held at the local bowling alley. It was a Peerless Center/bowling alley venue for about 10 years, and this is the third year it’s been held at the high school. The move to the high school came about at the request of students.
Preston King attempts to blow a bubble through the hula hoop in
Kracinda Thompson and Natasha Peregoy listen up to laser tag
Christa Durbin enjoys some “Just Dance 2” fun in the gym.
Herman said for a number of years the Lions Club sponsored a breakfast at the close of Post Prom events. However, that was eliminated due to waning interest from students.
If breakfast is something the kids want, Herman said it certainly can be considered again.
Nine committee members divided the Post Prom responsibilities, and numerous other volunteers and donors made it possible, as well.
In addition to Herman, Post Prom committee members include Marla Camblin and Nancy Miles, food; Tancy King and Jessica Cumming, games; Kelly Durbin and Tanisha Bules, prizes; Debbie Brandt, decorations; and Linda Jelden, permission forms/chaperones.
Everyone contacted local businesses, and letters were sent to area businesses and parents of juniors and seniors to request donations of prizes, money or time.
“It was a success,” said Herman after this year’s Post Prom.
It reached that level because of willing volunteers, gracious donors and good kids who took advantage of the opportunity to extend Prom past midnight in a fun, safe way.
Food was abundant, thanks to the generosity of Holyoke Marketplace. Smoothies, sandwiches,