As prom season gets into full swing, communities around the nation are trying to send a message to teenagers.
Groups such as the highway patrol, police, MADD and others are encouraging prom goers to drive safely, avoid alcohol and practice responsibility in their celebrations. Locally, Milford students will be enjoying what seems to be one of the most exciting safety programs around, the annual after prom.
“Basically, this is an event we have at the high school every year for the kids as a way to give them something to do after the prom instead of being on the streets, driving around, drinking, or renting hotel rooms,” said after prom chairperson Judi Testerman.
The annual after prom celebration is more than a simple mixer, dance or recreation of the prom itself. According to Testerman, the after prom is a full-fledged carnival type celebration, offering participants everything from food to games to sports, providing parents with piece of mind in the process.
"We always have a large blow-up activity in the gym, this year we have a big blow-up obstacle course," said Testerman. "We have big slides and other large events, like last year we had a velcro wall. This year, we're doing a bull-riding thing, and we have a casino room where they can play Texas hold-em, blackjack and roulette wheels. We have a room with carnival games, and in the smaller gym, we have a three-on-three basketball game going on all night and a money machine, plus some other activities."
The after prom, in its 19th year, is quite popular, said Testerman, who said that last year's after prom may have slightly edged out the actual prom in attendance. The after prom, held at the high school, offers a safe environment for students, who enter, but can't leave until the appointed time.
"We are a lock-in situation," said Testerman. "They are there until 5:30 a.m. when they are released. They only way they can be released otherwise is to a parent. We actually call the parents if a child gets a ticket and isn't there by 2 a.m."
A preview of the big event is held after the decorating is complete, which will be the day of the prom from 8-10 p.m. The prom, May 19, will start releasing kids around midnight, who will begin to trickle into the after prom where they can feast and otherwise enjoy themselves the rest of the night. Volunteers are needed, though, for decorating and other duties, and donations this year are also in short supply.
"We still need donations, they are down this year," said Testerman. "It costs about $27,000 to put this on every year."
For more information, or to volunteer or donate, contact Testerman at email@example.com or 831-2586.