After-Prom Event Includes Open House

BERLIN — With Stephen Decatur High School’s prom set for next weekend, an important program is planned to keep teens safe and under supervision after the big event as opposed to the often deadly alternatives.

Stephen Decatur’s senior prom is set for next Saturday at the Roland E. Powell Convention Center in Ocean City and revelers will have a safe post-prom alternative to parties and other activities that often meet with dangerous and sometimes deadly results. Shortly after the dance ends next Saturday, several hundred teens will head over to Stephen Decatur for the annual After Prom celebration.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, on a typical prom weekend each spring, 48 teenagers are killed and another 5,200-plus are injured in vehicle accidents and 40 percent of the deaths are alcohol related. In an effort to prevent local teens from adding to those statistics, Decatur’s After Prom party will offer a safe, supervised alternative to traditional prom night parties.

Decatur’s After Prom party is a free event and will run from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. The theme this year is “The Amazing Race” and participants will be treated to a DJ, a huge inflated obstacle course, a poker room, karaoke, temporary tattoo stations and other games and activities, along with food and drinks donated by local restaurants.

In addition, area businesses have ponies up dozens of awesome prizes for the participants including flat-screen televisions, computers, bikes, gift cards, gift baskets and more. Each teen will get tickets upon check-in for Chinese auction items. The winners must be present, which helps ensure the teens hang around until the end.

In a new twist this year, parents and guardians will be able to visit an open house from 9-10:30 p.m. so they can check out the venue and make sure the event is safe for their kids.

“Our students are an important resource and this event is truly a community event,” said After Prom chairperson Debbie Atwood this week. “We wanted to chance to let the community see the end result of their support. None of this would be possible without the support of our community organizations, businesses and individuals.”

Committee member Sue Carpenter agreed the community’s support was the key to success.

“There were over 600 kids that attended last year’s After Prom,” said Carpenter. “We are a success in keeping the kids safe and off the road because of all of the generosity of our area businesses, from food to prizes to donated services.”