By Rick Coates
Its prom season and high school students all over Northern Michigan are
scrambling to find prom dresses and tuxedos while ordering corsages and
boutonnieres. Some will do a double take and a say what? when they find
out that their parents are going to prom as well. Of course, there will be
a deep sigh of relief when they find out their parents have their own prom
Its called The 2nd Chance Prom and these events are popping up all over
the country. Northern Michigan will host its first ever 2nd Chance Prom
this Saturday April 16 at the new Reserved room within the Streeters
Center in Traverse City.
I came up with the idea while at my class reunion, said Doug Street,
owner and a TC High School graduate. One of my classmates told me that I
ought to do a 2nd Chance Prom. I had acquired all the old MTV videos from
the 80s and I have been doing some 80s nights that have been big hits. A
month ago the parents from the senior class at St. Francis approached me
looking to do a fundraiser for the senior graduation night party.
While 100% percent of the the ticket sales will benefit the 2011 St.
Francis graduation night party, Street said the event is open to the
Anyone can attend. These 2nd Chance Prom events are typically fundraisers
elsewhere in the country, said Street. Since other schools in the area
have these graduation night parties, what we are going to do each year is
have a vote at the 2nd Chance Prom so the school who has the most
representation will be awarded the proceeds from the event next year.
SAFE & SOBER
Structured graduation night parties are gaining in popularity. Dubbed
Project Graduation, or Grad Night these all-night parties have become
the in thing to do for seniors.
For many parents, prom and graduation nights have become two of their
biggest worries. Both events have resulted in tragic deaths of students in
years past, prompting the development of Project Graduation where the
parents organize a safe, sober and memorable night for graduates.
It is an opportunity for the seniors to have one more night together that
is organized and chaperoned by parents. It is essentially their last
goodbye before they head off to pursue college and careers, said Dana
Olm, co-coordinator of the 2011 St. Francis Project Graduation Party.
The budget for the 2011 St. Francis event is about $15,000. Parents start
organizing the event in the fall and details are kept secret until
graduation night, but Olm hinted the party will include several fun stops
around Traverse City and a night for seniors to remember forever. The 2nd
Chance Prom is expected to raise around $6,000 for Project Graduation.
Nationwide, some Project Graduation budgets are $50,000 and up, with
elaborate alcohol-free parties that have prizes including iPods,
cellphones, laptop computers, digital cameras, dorm-room refrigerators
and microwaves, and even a car. Typically, every senior gets a prize at
As for the allure of a 2nd Chance Prom, there are several factors that
have made them popular.
You would be surprised at the number of people who did not go to prom
in high school, so this is a way for them to experience it later in
life, said Street. Plus, people who did go to prom are probably not
married or dating their prom date, so that is where this 2nd Chance
component comes into play.
Street also added that his new room, The Reserved, will be decorated to
give it an 80s-early-90s prom feel. Plus his DJ will be playing top
videos and music of the 80s MTV generation while sprinkling in some 70s
disco as well as modern dance music.
The committee is also collecting up old prom pictures from attendees and
we will flash those over the big screens in between videos, said Street.
Speaking of pictures, a professional photographer will be on hand so you
will get an official prom photo included in the ticket price.
Of course what to wear will be at the top of everyones list and Street
says it is all about having fun (see this weeks MyStyle column).
As for food, Street said it will be just like real prom. We are starting
this later so people can go out to dinner somewhere around town. That way
you get to choose what you want to eat and when you arrive you start
dancing and mingling. We will have some light snacks available.
One tradition of prom is the spiking of the punch bowl and that will be
available as well, just with a different twist.
We are going to have the traditional prom punch bowl but our bartender
will be doing the spiking. But you get to choose how you want it spiked,
said Street. That is the other appealing thing about the 2nd Chance Prom
-- you are legally allowed to drink and there is no curfew.
The evening will include door prizes, selecting a prom king and queen at
midnight, and voting for which school gets to host the event next year.
Since resuming ownership of The Streeters Center (Ground Zero Nightclub) a
year ago, Street has remodeled the facility and has been taking on
community events, including the recent Bras For Cause that raised over
$30,000 for breast cancer programs in the region. At the end of April he
will host From Womens Hands.
The 2nd Chance Prom is Saturday April 16 with doors opening at 8 pm and
music continuing till 1 am. Tickets are $15 and limited so advance
purchase is suggested. Call the box office at 231-932-1300 or go to
www.groundzeroonline.com or search Facebook under Traverse City 2nd Chance
Prom. Tickets are also available at Carpet Galleria on Garfield in
Traverse City. E-mail your old prom photos to firstname.lastname@example.org to
be flashed on the screen through the night.