The idea is simple – give kids a fun, safe place to spend the night once their prom has concluded. But raising the approximately $15,000 to $20,000 it takes to pull the Hillsboro After Prom Party off each year for more than 300 students and finding enough bodies to take care of all that needs to be done is not.
This year’s After Prom will be held April 28-29 at the Hillsboro Elementary School. It runs from 11 p.m. Saturday until about 4:15 a.m. Sunday.
“The goal is to keep kids in one safe place all night long where we can provide something to keep them entertained and safe and to add to the memories of their prom night,” said Elaine Gilliland, who helps organize the event.
Anyone who donates $200 or more by April 6 will have their name, or the name of their business, printed on the back of T-shirts the students attending the After Prom receive as part of their package.
Volunteers are needed to help run games the night of the event, and since several parents on the committee have seniors graduating this year, new committee members are needed for next year. Anyone interested in volunteering or serving on the committee can call Gilliland at 937-763-6029, Lori Gunderman at 937-763-5781 or Laura Goolsby at 937-205-0738.
The After Prom is open to all Hillsboro High School juniors and seniors and an invited guest. Students do not have to attend the prom to attend the After Prom.
But there are other rules.
When they check into the After Prom from 11 to 11:45 a.m. (no one can check in after that) they turn in their vehicle keys and any other belongings they want locked away in a safe place. A place is also provided for them to change clothes. If the students leave before the After Prom is over, they must have a permission slip signed by their parents. If they do not have a permission slip and want to leave early, After Prom committee members contact their parents.
Once students enter the building at the beginning of the night, they are directed to the gym and cafeterias where food, beverages and all kinds of games are available throughout the night. In return for each game they play, students receive tickets that they can place in boxes in front of dozens of prizes donated by local business and individuals. Winning tickets for the prizes are drawn throughout the night.
There are large inflatable games, places where kids can make free videos, photos and tie-dyed T-shirts, or play laser tag, cornhole, on gaming systems and all kinds of other activities.
A little before 3 a.m. the games close down and the food is put away in anticipation of the night’s featured entertainment, which this year will be provided by a hypnotist.
Once the hypnotist finishes his performance, the names of the winners of the night’s five biggest prizes are drawn. Students must be present to win a prize.
“It’s 12 years and going and we’re just thrilled to have had this for the kids of Hillsboro High School,” Gunderman said. “We want to say thank you to the school for all its support, to the volunteers, and to all the wonderful area businesses, individuals and families that donate to the After Prom. They are the ones that make it such a wonderful evening for the kids.”
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or firstname.lastname@example.org.