Sunday, April 27, 2014

Methacton Post Prom 2014: And the Award Goes To...

Please see the You Tube video I uploaded which has numerous photos of all of the exceptionally well done decorations.

As if getting all glammed up and attending your prom (and perhaps being driven to and from in a limo), wasn’t enough to make you feel special, Methacton High School students attending the post-prom festivities afterward had the opportunity to walk a real red carpet as they entered the high school this past Friday evening for the all-night event. Greeted by ‘paparazzi’, a large replica of an Oscar statuette and movie posters, they began to fully view and experience the event’s theme, “Lights! Camera! Action! It’s Showtime!

As I have noted in previous articles about this event, it’s a function more than 400 Methacton parents and volunteers, with school district support, put on every year to give students a safe place to spend the overnight hours after prom. Studies show that the evening a student attends prom is one of the most potentially deadly nights of the year. With attendance free for the students & their dates, and the event paid for entirely by donated funds and in-kind services in the range of $40,000-$50,000 worth of goods and services, it’s no wonder we boast a 98% attendance rate and parents enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing their children are safe and enjoying a drug and alcohol-free evening having a blast with their friends. It takes about 2000 manpower hours the night of the prom to provide services to the approximate 900 student attendees.

If all the fun activities themselves weren’t enough to encourage attendance (a casino, hypnotist, balloon artist, trike races, dodgeball and volleyball tournaments with pre-registered teams and team-designed shirts, lazer tag, Wii and arcade games, billiard, ping-pong and air hockey tables, a movie studio in the library, romantic cafĂ©, photo booths, massage therapist, fortune teller, inflatables, ‘cash cab’ contest etc) students have opportunities to win fabulous prize for staying all night. Prizes include iPads, gift certificates, concert tickets, iPods, flat screen TVs, computers, digital cameras, DVD players, and video game systems.
This year, as in past years, I volunteered to work the 2-6 am shift, one of the most difficult to get volunteers to cover. I’ve worked in the casino, security, check-in/check-out and this time around, helped out with the trike races. I never cease to be amazed at how much energy the kids can still manage to summon in the middle of the night.  I’m a night owl but even I start to fade at 3 am or so!
In the 15 years Methacton has been doing this it has only gotten better and better. Planning for next year’s event will begin shortly after the conclusion of this year’s. Monday morning, all junior and senior attendees will complete a survey to let planners know what worked well and what improvements could be made for the following year. In June, after a six-week break, planners will meet to do a 360 degree evaluation of the event, consider the student feedback, and begin to structure the following year’s planning committee. Starting in the fall a team of about 30 people will work each week on decorations right up until the event.
As in past years, each of the elementary schools adopts one of the high school bathrooms and is responsible for decorating it. In keeping with this year’s cinematic theme, the bathrooms were decorated representing ‘The Great Gatsby”, “World War Z”, “The Sound of Music” (complete with a rendition of the song tripped when you walked into the loo) and “The Fast and the Furious”.
If there were awards for the large cast that pulls this event off, it would have to go with thanks to all the volunteers, sponsors, donors, teachers, school administrators, parents and students in our community who work tirelessly and selflessly all year to pull this event off flawlessly. They make it look easy, but I suspect moving military supplies across Iraq is probably less difficult than coordinating all the moving parts that go into post-prom. We’ve become a benchmark for other communities here and across the country.

By the way, waiting in line just in front of me to take the walk-through tour Friday evening was new superintendent Dr. David Zerbe and his family. I bump into him around town fairly often, and it's refreshing to have a superintendent who lives in our community and attends our events. What a welcome change!

As for 2014’s event…that’s a wrap!!!




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