In the doldrums of winter, it’s difficult to imagine Monroe’s young women and men attending Masuk High School’s Junior and Senior Prom.
However, on Friday, April 26, many students will head out to prom and then spend the early hours of Saturday morning continuing to celebrate at Masuk’s Post Prom Party.
For many years, the high school has partnered with the Monroe community in sponsoring a fun-filled event that includes food, games, live entertainment, inflatables, and raffle prizes. Everyone is invited to attend Post Prom, even if they don’t go to the formal prom.
Saving young people’s lives
Post-Prom Party Chairman Patti Oschendorf said the annual event has been a great way to ensure students’ safety on prom night. “If we save one child’s life that night because they came to Post Prom instead of being out on the road, then this was a success,” Oschendorf said.
She said students look forward to Post Prom as much as the prom itself. “The feedback from the kids has been so positive over the years,” Oschendorf said.
However, if more volunteers aren’t recruited this year to head some of the party’s key positions — the overall chairman and the chairmen for the Decorating Committee are all up for grabs in 2014 — Oschendorf is worried the Post Prom will be discontinued.
“I am concerned about it fizzling out,” she said.
Disney to Wild West themes
Every year the Post Prom’s Decorating Committee decides upon a party theme. This is kept secret until the night of the Post Prom Party.
In past years, Masuk High School has been transformed into the Magic Kingdom with everything Disney coming to life. It’s also been the Wild, Wild West and King Arthur’s Castle.
“We save everything and we try to re-use and recycle all of our scenery and props in a new way,” said Patti Kallas, co-chairman with LoriAnn Morrissey of the Decorating Committee.
Someone to ‘shadow’ current volunteers
Since they have graduating seniors, the two Monroe mothers will definitely resign from their Post Prom posts after this year’s event. They are hoping two parents will step up soon to “shadow” them as they begin this year’s preparations.
“We need people to start with us right now, because they need to see how we get started,” Kallas said. “We have a binder with all of the information written in it but we want to help pass it on in person. A lot goes on behind the scenes.”
In a switch from last year’s Tuesday night schedule, this year’s Decorating Committee will meet on Wednesdays from 7 to 9 p.m.
About 10 people showed up to its first official meeting in early January. “We got some new people and some people who were first-timers last year,” Kallas continued. “We also have the old standbys.”
All can help
Kallas emphasized that artistic skills are not required to volunteer. “If you can use a pair of scissors, I can use you,” she said. “There is a job for everyone who shows up. And there’s no right or wrong ways to do things.
“LoriAnn and I don’t want anyone to feel like they’re not good enough,” Kallas continued. “We could always do things over again if you don’t like the way something turned out.”
Some of the most important “work” comes from simply being present to brainstorm ideas, she added.
Oschendorf, too, thinks it’s important to find a volunteer to shadow her this season. Although her daughter will be a senior next year, Oschendorf would like to guide the new chairmen through next year’s Post Prom Party.
The chairman’s role is not difficult or time-consuming, she said. Responsibilities include decorating, organizing the setup crew, and drafting the patrons letter.
‘A great, awesome group of people’
“You really just have to be organized, outgoing and proactive about reaching out to people,” Oschendorf said. “We have a great, awesome group of people.”
She and Kallas ideally would like to have a large number of freshman and sophomore parents join this year’s Post Prom Committee. “It takes so long to train someone,” Oschendorf noted. “It’s nice to have them around for a few years to volunteer, and then we keep getting new parents of underclassmen involved.”
Because of Masuk’s new security system, the front entrance doors may be locked after hours. Post Prom volunteers should drive to the back of the school and make a left, then enter through the double doors near the art rooms.
For information on volunteering, email firstname.lastname@example.org.