The recent string of snowstorms has done more damage than just closing businesses and schools, knocking out power and creating endless amounts of potholes.
But it also stopped Kennett After Prom’s fundraising efforts and threatened to completely cancel the festivities.
“We were waiting for our big fundraiser, which was this dinner and dance at the Hartefeld,” said Kim Beeson, a member of the After Prom committee. “The big storms hit right when our dinner and dance was going to go on. We had a very low turnout.”
What the Kennett After Prom needed was $10,000. Beeson was ready to throw in the towel, but after some convincing from other committee members, decided to give it one last ditch effort.
The After Prom provides a safe, fun haven for Kennett juniors and seniors and their dates to continue partying well after the prom comes to an end. It’s even open for those juniors and seniors to come to even if they didn’t attend the prom.
“The After Prom is, for many kids in our school district, their only prom experience,” Beeson said. “They may not have the money to purchase a ticket or the expensive dresses. The average dress costs $500 now. People don’t have the funds to send their kids to the prom.”
The idea of the After Prom, which is a parent-based volunteer organization, gives the kids not only the chance to have fun, but also gives them an environment without alcohol and drugs.
Having a deadline of just 10 days, the committee sent out a call for help from the community to raise the money to save the After Prom, a seemingly impossible task.
“There were just a few people in the committee who felt like, regardless of the fact, if we still had a few thousand dollars in our pocket, we could still try to put on something that’s going to keep the kids safe,” Beeson said. “When I heard that there were lots of kids that weren’t able to go to the prom and this was the only way to have a prom experience, we decided to try one last push.”
But the community came together and by using word-of-mouth, The Garage putting out a call to help and a website called gofundme, the After Prom achieved the $10,000 goal before the 10 days were up.
Donations on gofundme ranged from $10 up to $250. In fact, two people even donated $500 each.
Even State Representative Steve Barrar heard the plea for help and donated to the After Prom.
“I’m completely grateful and shocked,” Beeson said. “Every day I would go online and look at our gofundme account that we created and it was shocking. We just accumulated $1,000 every day through this account. It was overwhelmingly appreciated.
“We just want to thank the community and the families within our school district that contributed and passed on our requests to their family members and people that they work with.”
Now that the After Prom will go on without a hitch, the committee is looking for parents to volunteer to chaperone the party. If interested, please visit their website at www.kennettafterprom.wordpress.com.
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