Archive for Thursday, February 9, 2006

After-prom party planning going well

February 9, 2006

Mindy Frehe felt a little safer sending her daughter Morgan to De Soto High School prom last year with after-prom activities available.

"I knew she was going somewhere for the evening in a safe environment," she said. "It takes the worry out of sending your child to prom."

Morgan, a junior, said after-prom activities just made the night more enjoyable.

"I think it's fun," she said. "It was the best part of prom last year."

Jackie Johnson, parent and sponsor of the after-prom party, described the event as a big party for juniors and seniors. It's supervised by adults and free, so students aren't out on the road with drunk drivers or involved with underage drinking parties after prom.

The students play carnival-style games, inflatable games and are entered in drawings. This year's theme is "Surf's Up," and there will be a mechanical surfboard.

"Every senior who attends gets a gift that's anywhere from money to a mini-fridge, to blankets and towels," Johnson said.

To raise money for the event, the DHS parents had a chili supper and silent auction at Friday's game. About $3,000 was raised for after-prom activities.

DHS parent Toni Caldwell said the after-prom activities have become a DHS tradition.

"We want to provide a place that's non-drinking so kids have some place to go," she said. "Every year, Wally's (Cafe) opens early and that gives the kids a place for breakfast, because sometimes driving tired is worse than driving drunk."

Caldwell said the after-prom event got donations from the city of Lenexa along with donations from local businesses. The De Soto City Council also voted to contribute $1,000 to the event.

"It's a safe thing for them to do instead of being on the streets," she said.

DHS senior Greg Moore said the after-prom activities definitely helped make prom a safer night for students.

"I'm not one to drink, but I think it keeps a lot of students from going out and drinking after prom," he said. "De Soto is recognizably a party-happening school."

Janice Wilcox, another parent and organizer for the fund-raiser, said she was pleased with the donations from families and businesses. The silent auction had more than 200 items from a plastic toy, "Darth Tater," to volleyballs, soccer balls, basketballs and a football signed by DHS teams, to a three-night stay in a Colorado condo.

"The response has been overwhelming," she said. "We're just so pleased with the support."

The prom is April 8. Students will have a fund-raiser to benefit prom itself at the Feb. 17 game.

For more information about after-prom activities, call Jackie Johnson at 585-1063.

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