GRAFTON—Every year, around the nation young lives are cut short in car accidents involving drunk drivers on prom night, but individuals at Grafton High School have been working to help provide a fun, safe alternative to after prom parties.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, between 2013 and 2017, there were an average of 161 teen drivers ages 16-18 involved in fatal crashes each year in the month of May.
In 2016, more than 79,000 teen drivers were involved in non-fatal crashes during the month of May.
As a way to try and curb the risks associated with after prom, underage drinking and driving, Grafton High School will once again be opening their doors to all GHS juniors and seniors, as well as their dates, to join in on the fun and excitement of their Fifth Annual Project After-Prom, that will be held this Saturday, May 11.
After-Prom is held to give students a safe place to continue their celebrations, in a controlled, chaperoned, drug and alcohol-free environment, according to organizers.
“The event is free to all GHS juniors and seniors, regardless if they attended the prom or not,” shared After-Prom spokesperson Sharon Griffith, who is in her fourth year of participation with the event. “This year, our prom will be held in Cheat Lake and will end at 11:00 p.m., and because students will have to drive back to Grafton, we will be keeping our doors open until midnight.”
The event will take place at the school, and students should arrive between 11:00 p.m. and midnight. Once the doors are closed at midnight, students in attendance are not permitted to leave until the conclusion of the event, which is at 6:00 a.m. on Sunday, May 12.
During the night, students are heavily chaperoned by school faculty and community leaders, as well as parent volunteers.
“We will have members of the Grafton Police Department, school officials and plenty of parents there to keep an eye on the kids throughout the night,” Griffith revealed.
Throughout the night, students are treated to food, games, entertainment and prizes.
“This year, we have a band that includes two students from Grafton High School and one from North Marion coming to play. The students are pretty excited to have them back, after hearing them perform during homecoming this year,” Griffith noted.
During the evening, students will have the chance to win some great prizes including kayaks, paddle boards, laptops, apple watches, college dorm packages that include bedding, towels and other essentials they might need.
In addition, we offer smaller prizes and gift cards.
“Each GHS student is awarded a prize, and after all of our students are taken care of, we will give out prizes to the guests and dates, too,” she explained.
Griffith reported that any extra food that is left over is donated to a local food pantry to be used for those in need in the community.
Griffith revealed that last year, the event had a final cost of $10,500 dollars, and this year they were on track to reach that amount again, but that through generous contributions from community organizations, the event will be another success.
So, GHS juniors and seniors, after you’ve danced the night away, or even if you decided to skip prom, grab your friends and head to this year’s After-Prom for an exciting evening of fun.
“We are doing our best to make this an event that excites our students and keeps them out of their cars during the early morning hours. Our students mean a lot to us and we truly want to keep each and every one of them safe,” Griffith shared. “Prepare to stay all night and enjoy fun, food and friends.”