08′ After Prom, a perfect ending to a perfect evening.
by Ben Gilliland
More often than not kids (especially teenagers) are not appreciative of many things grown-ups do for them. Whether it is our siblings, relatives, teachers, or friends, but it’s especially true with our parents. We don’t acknowledge much of what they do for us until we’re about 55 years old and are finally not afraid to admit in public that we love them and thank them.
On April 27, 2008, that trend was broken as the students attending Thomas Jefferson High School’s After Prom had nothing but good things to say to their parents who worked for months planning and putting on the best event that the graduating class of 2008 had experienced in their four years at TJ.
To pull off such a huge undertaking it took an elite team of TJ parents led by Stacey Zamora and Lynn Nathan. Since the beginning of the school year the after prom committee has been at almost every TJ event selling baked goods, drinks and T-shirts to raise money. The parents began building the decorations for after prom right after the end of winter break, meeting every Monday and Wednesday from 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in room 5 every week leading to Prom. The Friday and Saturday before prom they spent the entire two days setting up all the things they had made over the past four months. My mom, Susan Stone, was one of the parents who helped build things and every Wednesday night she would come home covered in paint and glitter. Every time I would ask her what she was doing, and every time she would tell me “top secret” business that she couldn’t tell me about. I must say it was worth the wait.
The theme for this year’s after prom was Techno Junkies @ High Speed (or TJ@HS). The idea came from how kids now-a-days have moved on from the simple games of the past to the new-age, high-tech games and world of the present. So, when the students were walking into the transformed school they saw old toys and board games like tricycles, Mouse Trap, and Candy Land, but once they entered the gym they were greeted by more modern games like a mechanical bull, a giant inflatable obstacle course, and the ever popular Guitar Hero. Everything at after prom was based on and named after the theme, like the Mega Byte Cafe. The TJ parents did an amazing job decorating the school. On numerous occasions, when I was running around doing all of the activities, I forgot that I was actually in my school. Throughout the night I had to orient myself, and had trouble figuring out where I was in the building. All of the details in the decorations and the carefully laid out sets made after prom all the better.
There were tons of activities for the students to do, and for everything they did they received fake “Just money”, a little play on words with our principal Sandra Just, who was pictured on all of the bills. At 3:00 a.m. the students were able to use the money they had earned throughout the morning to buy prizes. Prizes included iPods, TVs, stereos and speakers, dorm size refrigerators, many college useful laundry themed baskets, backpacks, luggage and lots of other smaller prizes. Also, throughout the night, three laptop computers were raffled off along with an Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, a Foosball table, and cash prizes.
After prom is over, but the memory of it will live on forever with everyone who attended. And the people we have to thank the most, and the people who deserve all the credit, are our loving parents. On behalf of the entire graduating class of 2008 I would like to say thank you for all of your hard work and dedication. 2008 after prom committee we salute you:
Mary Jane Piccone
Mary Jo Snell