Post-Prom Party Intended to Deter Underage Drinking in Need of Donations
Parents have been organizing a massive post-prom party for State College seniors for 28 years in an effort to deter students from engaging in underage drinking.
As part of that effort, organizers are seeking help from business owners and residents to ensure the tradition continues. Julie Seighman, parent and organizer, says in recent years donations have declined for the event that has a $20,000 budget.
The elaborate party includes swimming, food and casino games with fake cash students can use to purchase prizes, such as store gift cards and other items. There are also raffle prizes ranging from an iPad to a pre-owned car donated by State College Ford.
The idea is to make the event so appealing to students that they gladly choose to attend the party at school as opposed to planning their own parties that could potentially involve alcohol and result in injury or death.
"The event gives an opportunity for the students to do something as a safe alternative to some other things that go on post prom," says Seighman. "It also gives parents peace of mind because their kids are in a healthy, supervised environment. It's an effort to reduce reckless behavior including drinking and driving."
Mothers Against Drunk Driving Spokesperson Jan Withers joined the organization in 1992 after an underage drunk driver killed her 15-year-old daughter, Alisa Joy. Withers says parties like the one organized at State High are critical to prevent tragic events around momentous occasions such as prom, spring break and high school graduation.
"We want to be vigilant and we want to protect them because we love them and we care about their safety and their well being," Withers says. "We just want them to be safe, it's just that simple, because we love them."
Withers says 4,700 young people die every year as a result of underage drinking – more than the deaths related to all other drugs combined.
April is Alcohol Awareness Month. Withers says it is critical for parents to teach their children that it is not all right to drink alcohol before 21. Wither says parents need to have ongoing, repeated conversations with children about alcohol use. To learn how to have those conversations, click HERE.
To learn more about the State College High School Senior Post-Prom Party and find ways to contribute, visit HERE. Prom is May 10.