After-prom party designed to keep kids entertained, safe
Preparation is underway for one of the biggest parties of the year for some Eudora High students. A casino, extreme games and other all-night activities are planned not for reckless teen-agers, but the EHS after-prom party.
Saturday, April 29 will be the 11th after-prom party, which provides an alternative for kids after the annual junior-senior prom - away from the temptation of underage drinking or other harmful activities.
"The whole event is designed to give them a safe, fun and memorable environment," said Bonnie Neis, EHS head secretary.
EHS teacher and coach Dave Durkin organized the party for 10 years, with Neis taking over this year. When the after-prom party began, Durkin said, it was strictly with the best interest of students in mind.
"We wanted to offer an alternative to the way things usually go at proms," Durkin said.
Each year's party has a theme, which is kept secret until that night. Neis said this is done to enhance the grandeur of the party as they arrive.
"We do that so it's more awesome when they come in," Neis said. "This way they have no idea what to expect."
In addition to a secret theme, juniors, seniors and dates spend from 1 a.m. until 7 a.m. playing extreme games, which in past years have included participants wearing a special suit and jumping on a Velcro wall. Simulated Sumo wrestling has students wearing thick, padded suits for a friendly clobbering while a replica casino allows students to play games and compete for chances for prize drawings. Prizes include electronics, gift certificates and other prizes and cash, with last year's total prize value reaching $12,000.
Neis said the whole event is held through donations from business and community members.
"It's all funded though donations," Neis said. "I would say 80 percent of Eudora businesses have donated this year."
As the party comes to a close, tired but entertained students and sponsors head home; hopefully with a night of fun memories and safe activities.
"The idea is to keep the kids off the street and away from alcohol and drugs," said Larry McPherson, activities director. "As far as I know, it works."