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Sue Bush
More articles from Sue Bush

Drury All-Night After-Prom

By Susan Bush
12:00AM / Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Drury High School teacher and 2006 After-Prom Celebration volunteer organizer Donna Wood
North Adams - The planning is underway for the Drury High School 2006 "after-prom" party, and a spaghetti supper fundraiser benefiting the all-night event has been scheduled for Feb. 24 at the American Legion hall on American Legion Drive. Food will be served from 4 p.m. - 7 p.m., with tickets available at the door or at Moulton's Spectacle Shop on Main Street.

Adult tickets cost $6 each; senior citizen and children tickets may be purchased for $4 each.

A Chinese auction, 50/50 raffle and a scrapbooking supply sale are scheduled to be held in conjunction with the supper, and baked goods will be offered for sale as well. Take-out meals will be also be available.

Donna Wood is a teacher at Drury and a parent who has been involved with the after-prom party for four years. Usually, about 100 junior and senior students attend the event following the prom and most have said that the event is a lot of fun, Wood said.

"We have about 15 parents in the group and our goal is to provide a night for the juniors and seniors to get together as a last time kind of thing," Wood said. "I think it's a nice idea. It's free, and the juniors and the seniors are welcome to come whether they went to the prom or not."

The prom dates of the upper classmen are able to accompany their dates the after-prom, including sophomore or freshmen students, Wood said.

The tentative date of the Drury prom is May 6. The after-prom doors are expected to open at midnight. The event has been held at Brayton Elementary School and the YMCA; this year, the event is planned for the Y.

Once a student has entered the after-prom premises, they may not leave unless a parent is contacted, Wood said. Those planning to attend the event are required to pre-register and be on the party premises by 1 a.m.. If a registered student does not appear at the party, the parent will be called, Wood said.

"Everybody knows the rules when they sign up," she said. "Parents and students know that there is no drugs or alcohol allowed, and backpacks are searched."

This year, party planners have invited a caricaturist to entertain at the party. Previous years have hosted jousting games, a massive, inflatable obstacle course for students to navigate, a mechanical bull ["That was a lot of fun," Wood said.], pie-eating contests, pool relay races, and go-cart type races that used bicycles and toilet seats. A Texas Hold'Em tournament has also been included on the activity roster. Music is an after-prom staple.

"We try to plan a lot of fun stuff," she said. "We always have movies and a place for sleeping bags, too, so that anyone who wants to rest can rest. We have plenty of food and this year, we're having a chocolate fountain."

All party-goers are eligible to participate with a Chinese auction, and senior students are in the running to win special prizes. Past year prizes have included dormitory-room sized refrigerators, small televisions, mountain bikes, and printers, Wood said.

The 2005 after-prom party cost about $5000. Letters seeking donations of revenue and prizes have been sent to local businesses, and Wood said that the area business community has been very generous in the past. Business community support makes it possible to host a safe, substance-free event that reduces the risk of car crashes or other unhappy incidents, she said.

"The hard thing about being a parent organization is handling the fundraising effort," she said. "That's why we are so appreciative of the donations that we receive. I am always so grateful to the local businesses because they have been so generous with the monetary donations and the prizes."

Another fundraiser is being planned for March 18. Molly Meczywor and Susan Chilson are organizing a three-on-three basketball tournament to be held at the North Adams Armory.

"We're calling it 'Springfest' and it was really nice of Molly and Sue to offer to do this," Wood said. "It 's going to be open to Drury students and we are going to ask McCann [Charles H. McCann Technical High School] students if they'd like to participate in the tournament."

The after-prom party is a fun, festive way to offer a fond farewell to graduating seniors, Wood said.

"I like the idea of an after-prom," she said. "I like the idea of giving the juniors and seniors a chance to get together and have one last night together."

Wood is among those who stays awake all night with the after-prom crowd.

"Instead of being up all night worrying [about her high school-age daughter], I'm up all night working, which is just fine by me," she said.

Anyone who wishes to contribute to the Drury High School "2006 After-Prom Celebration" may send donations to Drury After Prom, P.O. Box 1123, North Adams, Mass. 01247. Checks should be made out to "Drury After-Prom."

Susan Bush may be reached via e-mail at suebush@iberkshires.com or at 802-823-9367.
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