Tuesday, Mar. 25
Spring is in the air and prom season is just around the corner.
This right of passage involves elaborate dresses, corsages, limos and an increased risk for teens getting into trouble or possibly getting hurt.
According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly one third of alcohol-related traffic fatalities involving teens each year occur during Prom and Graduation season.
For this reason, all three of Fauquier County Public High Schools have hosted after prom celebrations for over 20 years. The after proms are organized and funded solely by parents and community members who are interested in providing a fun and safe place for students to celebrate.
“The after prom lets the kids have a safer choice of something to do after the prom ends,” said Kim Steeves, who has been on the Fauquier County High School After Prom Committee for seven years. “No body ever wants the night to end, especially teenagers. They just want to keep going and have a great time.”
Each year the after proms entice the students to attend the event with the promise of prizes including T.V.s, computers, iPads and even cars. Country Chevrolet has donated a car to each FCPS high school after prom to be raffled off for the last decade.
Many community members and alumni of the schools donate generous contributions to the after proms, including Marsha White Melkonian, who used to head the after prom Committee years ago. She donates profits from her Santa’s Village Craft Fair each year.
Numerous local restaurants donate a plethora of food, including a chocolate fountain. Carosel Frozen Treats even brings a truck full of ice cream for the kids to devour.
There are also plenty of games and activities, including a game-show-style booth in which cash is blown around by air. The children get to go in the booth and collect as much money as they can with their hands.
“We encourage safe silliness,” said Steeves.
Eda Lenhart, the head of this year’s FHS After Prom Committee, said that the event has many parent volunteers on hand to monitor the event.
“There’s no sneaking off to do anything and then come back in,” said Lenhart. “Once they’re out, they’ll have to go home or somewhere else. We have lots of parents that control the door and we all look out for them like they’re our own kids.”
Each fter prom takes place in the school’s gym and starts around midnight. The event lasts until 5 a.m., and only the students that stay until the end of the event are eligible for the raffle prizes.
Lenhart is grateful to all of the community members who are able to contribute to the event. She believes that it is important to provide this safe opportunity for the children as an outlet for their energy and excitement on prom night.
“It’s an important event,” said Lenhart. “It keeps the kids safe and in the school, locked-down.”
. For more on the LHS after prom, go to http://www.libertyafterprom.com