Ten years ago a handful of Hillsboro High School parents banded together to find a way to entertain their children after the annual prom was over. What emerged was the Hillsboro After Prom Party, a five-hour event that will be held again April 23-24.
“The interest mainly was that the prom is such a wonderful event and when it ends you want the kids to continue to have fun in a safe place rather than at a random party here or there,” Lori Gunderman, an After Prom committee member, said of how it got started. “Those original people knew what was going in some other schools, so they decided to put something together that would be open to all the students and would be safe and close to home.”
This year’s After Prom will be held at the Hillsboro Elementary School. It starts when the regular prom ends at 11 p.m. and continues until 4 a.m. the next morning.
The event is open to Hillsboro students attending the prom and their dates. It is also open to Hillsboro students who did not attend the prom, if they are a junior or senior.
If the Hillsboro students stay at the After Prom until it is over they have a chance to win several nice prizes. A car was given away the first few years, but now the prizes include things like laptop computers, televisions, iPads or other electronic devices, plus 10 cash prizes of $100. Dozens of smaller prizes are given away throughout the evening.
It takes about 60 volunteers to pull the event off, including a couple volunteers who monitor the parking lots for security reasons.
The cost is $5 per student. In return they receive a prom-themed T-shirt, and have access to a large assortment of food and drinks, inflatable games, massages, other games like laser tag and video games, an area to make tie-dyed T-shirts, a place to make their own music video, a mechanical bull ride, featured entertainment toward event’s conclusion, and much more. For each game they play they receive a ticket and those tickets can be exchanged for chances to win the prizes given away throughout the night.
When kids enter the After Prom they have to register and relinquish their keys, wallets and phones.
“We offer a way to secure them because we have so many bouncy games and there are so many other ways that they could get lost,” Gunderman said.
If kids leave the party early they have to have signed approval from their parents/guardians, or the parents are called to let them know the student has left the party.
The actual prom will be held at the Hillsboro High School/Middle School on Saturday, April 23. The crowning of the king and queen takes place at 6:45 p.m. and the grand march follows immediately afterward. The dance is held from 8-11 p.m. in the high school gym.
If the weather is nice the crowing and grand march will take place outside in front of the school. If not, the crowing will take place on the cafetorium stage and the march will be held in the school hallways.
The cost to attend the prom is $30 per ticket.
Students are given until 11:45 p.m. to register at the After Prom. After that no one can enter.
The After Prom Committee invites its donors and the public to view everything at the elementary school from the time the grand march ends until about 10 p.m.
For more information about the After Prom call Gunderman at 937-763-5781, Elaine Gilliland at 937-763-6023 or Laura Goolsby at 937-402-0738.
“It’s 10 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 on Twitter @13gillilandj.