CHAMPLAIN - The plan is simple - keep students safe after prom.
Kathy Ryan and her daughter, Colleen, are among those working on a committee that's organizing the first after-prom party for Northeastern Clinton Central School. The event will be hosted at the school following this Saturday's prom at the Rainbow Wedding and Banquet Hall in Altona, offering a safe alternative for students wanting to celebrate one of their high school milestones.
"As parents, we know the dangers of our kids being out on prom night," said Kathy. "Our main objective for [the after-prom party] is for kids to have fun and be safe."
The committee has been planning the event since October, reaching out to local merchants and community members for financial support to host the party, said Kathy. The response has been "amazing," she said, with more than $9,500 raised through donations and fundraisers.
In addition, several items have been donated to be given as prizes to attract students to the party, added Kathy.
"It's just amazing to see this community give, give give," she said.
A flat-screen television, camera, Netbook, jewelry, ski passes and greens fees are among the prizes to be awarded to lucky juniors throughout the night. But, perhaps the most sought-after prize will be a 2002 Chevy Prism donated by Parker Chevrolet Pontiac Inc. of Champlain.
"Tim Parker was above and beyond helpful," said Kathy, referring to the donation. "He told us he would not give us a car that he would not feel was safe enough to put his own daughter in. So, we know it's a good car."
"And, here it sits, thanks to their generosity," she added.
Prizes won't be the only draw, said Kathy. Entertainment will be a big part of the night, with a hypnotist and past American Idol participant Benjamin Bright being among the acts to round out the event. Free henna tattoos, a photo booth and movies are among the other activities that have been piquing student interest.
"I know there are kids who do like to go out and drink," said Colleen, "so, we wanted to do what we could to pull in as many groups as possible. There were some who said they'd never go to an after-prom party. Those kids are going now."
The only hook to winning prizes is that students can't leave once they're at the party, unless their parents pick them up or prior arrangements are made. Transportation from the prom to the party will also be offered.
"We just want the kids to get home safe," said Kathy.