OCEAN CITY – Prom night is coming early this year as a unique benefit for the Believe in Tomorrow Children’s Foundation House by the Sea.
The inaugural Believe In Tomorrow Children’s Foundation prom night fundraiser, A Night in the Spotlight, will benefit the House by the Sea located in Ocean City on Saturday, Feb. 8, starting at 7 p.m. at Hooters of West Ocean City.
It is $20 per person to cover costs as an upscale buffet with carving station, pasta and assorted appetizers will be offered. Attendees can receve a free drink by presenting a high school prom photo at the event and a champagne toast will be provided by Park Place Jewelers. Live music will be by DJ BK.
Wayne Littleton of the Believe in Tomorrow Children’s Foundation explained the House by the Sea is 15 years old and maintenance costs have become an issue.
“We need to start replacing things. We have had to replace the washer and dryer, carpet, some of the siding. It is just natural wear and tear,” he said. “This year we have to replace all of our heating and air conditioning units, which are five in total. It is about a $15,000 job, and we have been trying to think of a way to raise enough money to cover that expense.”
Littleton furthered the team wanted to do something different from Believe in Tomorrow House by the Sea black tie event in April that helps raises funds to cover operational costs.
“We were thinking way outside of the box on this one. It is going to be fun, a nice event,” he said. “Our community is just so generous to start with … the response we have gotten so far has just been unbelievable.”
Littleton approached local businesses and organizations in establishing a Prom Court that’s currently out fundraising on their own.
“Not one person said no,” he said. “They took it and ran with it. They have really gotten behind it.”
It is $1 per vote to select the prom king and queen. The Prom Court Kings are Joe Kendall of Kendall Furnishings, Ryan Intrieri of Hooper’s Crab House, JJ Roth of 98.5 FM, Mark Odachowski of Royal Plus and Mark Custodio of Bull on the Beach.
The Prom Court Queens are Jill Ferrante of Park Place Jewelers, Patricia IIczuk-Lavanceau of Comcast Spotlight, Jodie Noonan of Amber Nicole’s Bridal and Formal, Jenny Lauman of Hooters of West Ocean City and Lindsay Candelora of Hooters of West Ocean City.
A silent auction will also be held on Prom Night to help raise funds to replace the heating and air conditioning units.
“Anything we make is more than we have. That is the way I look at everything,” Littleton said. “We really want to have a fun night for people to come out and have a good time, and I have to say I am surprise in the response and how excited people are. It has been great.”
There is a 180-person limit, and according to Littleton 80 tickets were sold before the event was even announced. Tickets are now available by calling Littleton at 410-723-2842.
“Maybe this can be the beginning of another yearly event for us,” he said. “I have to say I still get surprised. I was born and raised here and the community still surprised me in how generous everybody is.”
Littleton wanted to give special thanks to Matt and Jason Ortt of Hooters, the Prom Committee and Angie Ortt, Premiere Events and Jenny Lauman.
“Hooters are a very big supporter of the Believe In Tomorrow Respite Housing Program. They never say no to us. They participate in a quite a few of our events and also allow every one of our families in the summer to eat at Hooters at no cost. They are amazing people,” Littleton said.
For more than 30 years, Believe In Tomorrow Children’s Foundation has been a leader in pediatric hospital and respite housing services for critically ill children and their families. It has provided over half a million individual overnight accommodations to these children and families, from every state in the U.S. and 76 countries worldwide.