Sunday, April 23, 2017

Oh The Places You’ll Go! En Route To The 2017 Methacton Post Prom

A whirlwind trip around the globe awaited Methacton High School students planning to attend the 2017 post-prom event, themed ‘Oh The Places You’ll Go! (after the Dr. Seuss story by the same name) but when they arrived, they needed no passports or luggage,  only a desire to have fun and stay out of harm’s way.

The same goes for the more than 1000 family, friends and curious attendees from other school districts who lined up well in advance of the 6:30 community walk-through start time to learn about this amazing endeavor and to get a sneak preview of the decorations, activities and features of this year’s domestic and internationally-themed event, many of whom will have kids gracing the newly-converted high school hallways in a few short hours when the prom is over.

2017 marks the 18th year of the premier post-prom event in Montgomery County, attracting close to 100% participation by students attending the prom (93% of prom attendees as of last year, and between 800-900 students in total, some of whom do not attend the prom) and the aforementioned 1000+ visitors who take the walk-through preview tour. Created to give students a safe place to spend the overnight hours after prom, it’s blossomed over the years to be something students AND parents look forward to experiencing.

Post-prom came about largely because studies show that two of the most dangerous nights for high school students are the evenings following the prom and graduation. As soon as the prom ends, students spend the entire night inside the high school in a safe, drug and alcohol free environment. Free to all junior and senior high school students and their dates, attendees are expected to sign in and stay all night – if they want to leave, parents are called and the students are not released until they arrive.  Students are free to go after 5:30 am but must stay til the end to be eligible to win awesome door prizes.

The high school interior becomes virtually unrecognizable, having been transformed into an entirely new environment. Activities available throughout the night include a casino, sporting events such as dodgeball and volleyball tournaments, a coffee house with entertainment, inflatables, a bull riding machine, an arcade, laser tag, a comedy/improve group, hypnotist, yoga, trike races, and roving performers. There’s even a dash of reality TV in the form of Cash Cab. Food is available throughout the evening for students and volunteers.

There’s no cost to the students to attend – all expenses incurred in making the props and decorations, providing food and entertainment, and the prizes that are offered to those who stay all night are paid for by generous donations of hundreds of hours of time, and cash, goods and services from community sponsors, businesses, organizations and families – this year’s operating budget topped $46,000. Several fundraisers are also held during the year to raise funds, such as the annual summer golf outing at Shannondell, and the adult dinner dance held in the wintertime.

Enjoy this compilation set to music (via You-Tube) of the gorgeous decorations created for “Oh The Places You’ll Go”, and these fun facts provided by the post-prom committee:

·       - It takes more than 450 volunteers to work the night of post-prom, for setup, manning the functions and security at post-prom, and clean up the next morning.

·       - 61 local businesses and over 100 families provided cash donations for this year’s post-prom

·      -  Post-prom is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit volunteer organization and is not affiliated with Home & School or Methacton High School.

·       - Each year a student logo design contest is held, with the winner receiving two free tickets to the prom.

·        -Over 65 volunteers work behind the scenes starting in October each year lending their various talents to design, build and create the decorations and displays for post-prom.

·        -Post-prom are loaned out to seven other Methacton School District schools, five surrounding local school districts, and many local community groups.

·        -The post-prom Education Committee sends notes to all of the local florists and tuxedo shops to tuck into students’ corsages, boutonnieres and jacket pockets reminding students to make good choices on prom night and thanks those shops who’ve agreed to help us keep our students safe.

It’s never too late to donate to support this very worthy cause. If you’d like to contribute, mail your tax-deductible check payable to Methacton Post Prom to: PO Box 39, Eagleville, PA, 19408-0039.

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