After-prom parties seek mainstream acceptance

Prom night has long been a rite of passage for American teenagers. Unfortunately, the night is often marked by a large number of young people who abandon their core values, common sense and reasoning skills. The U.S. Department of Transportation reports that on a typical prom weekend, 48 teenagers will perish and 5,200 more will be injured in vehicular crashes. About half of these crashes will be alcohol or drug related.

Chilling statistics such as these led concerned parents to create the after prom movement in 2000. The goal of the movement is to foster an alternative to the wildness that had come to exist after the prom. Most of the area high school PTA/PTO groups have been preparing for months as they strive to create after-prom experiences that are both enjoyable and meaningful.

Heading up the after prom committee at Matoaca High School are parents and PTO board members Amy Elliott and Karen Hahn. Themed “Casino Night,” the Matoaca Prom will be held at the Cultural Center of India on Saturday, May 1. Their after-prom celebration will continue just across Rt. 10 at Ironbridge Sports Park.

“In the beginning, after prom was seen as the nerdy thing to do, but as we have gone forward more and more kids have begun to see the after prom party as the thing to do,” explained Elliott. “We are constantly looking for keys in getting the greatest number of kids to participate.”

“We think we have a fun and exciting night planned,” Elliott continued. “We will have mini golf, batting cages, go-kart races, a moonwalk and a money machine. Thanks to Mike Lorton, the general manager at Colonial Honda, one of our students has the opportunity to drive away in a brand new Honda with a hole-in-one on the driving range.”

Tickets will be available at the school during the two weeks leading up to the prom. The event will run from midnight to 3 a.m. As an added bonus, each senior will walk away with a commemorative T-shirt.

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