GROTON -- If it's spring, it must be prom season, right? But why should only the sweet 16s have all the fun?
Well, they shouldn't!
At least that's the contention of a growing number of local femmes who've long since (and some not so long since) graduated from high school but still know how to party!
You guessed it! It's time to squeeze into that old prom gown again and strut your stuff at the Alpine Grove Banquet Facility in Hollis, N.H., for the fourth annual Mom Prom event.
And this year, organizers promise to pull out all the stops to make sure attendees not only have a good time but break their record for money raised to help the fight against breast cancer.
"Each year we make improvements with the event," said Mom Prom Committee member Kelsey McCormick. "All the way from the food and beverages offered to the entertainment throughout the night. To mention a couple, this year we have a really neat photography vendor that I think attendees will have a lot of fun with! Additionally, instead of a silent auction, this year we are putting together really great raffle baskets with various items donated from local businesses."
Now a national phenom, the Mom Prom concept was first dreamed up in 2006 by Michigan resident Betsy Crapps as a fundraising gimmick at her own St. Thomas a'Becket Catholic Church .
Conceived as a ladies' night out for charity, participants deck themselves out in their old prom gowns, bridesmaids dresses, or wedding gowns and "dance, dance, dance" the night away according to the official website.
The area version of the Mom Prom was first held in 2011 and proved to be an immediate hit among the local ladies, with attendance growing by leaps and bounds each year since.
According to McCormick, in first year of the event 90 tickets were sold and last year 260.
"This year, we would love to reach 350," said McCormick. According to Crapps, last year alone, "Mom Proms raised $200,000 for charity. So far this spring, we have 40 proms scheduled in 26 states and expecting more."
But it's not all fun and games; there's a serious side to the event too.
Proceeds from ticket sales go to the St. Joseph's Hospital Breast Care Center in Nashua, N.H. Funding allows the hospital to purchase state-of-the-art technology such as digital breast tomosynthesis to perform three-dimensional mammography for breast cancer screening and diagnosis.
"We raised $22,074 in 2013 and hope to double it this year," said McCormick.
"We're still ladies only, although attendees don't have to be moms," confirmed McCormick. "We do have a male DJ and a couple other males that work the event; otherwise it's just the ladies and the cardboard cutout prom dates including Patrick Swayze and Elvis, just to mention a couple. After all, we need someone to take our prom photos with!"
And if their dates wear thin, there are games, contests, and dancing, dancing, dancing to keep the ladies entertained.
It does however, take a special kind of woman to love a Mom Prom but as it turns out, they're not hard to find:
"A woman who loves to have a good time and who has a good heart," said McCormick. "That's all you need. What sounds better than a girls' night out for a good cause? We all know that sometimes we need a night out ... being a mom or not. What's better than a night of fun with friends and family all while supporting a good cause? A charity that's close to your heart? It's hard to say no to something like that and the buzz about Mom Prom has spread like wildfire."
And aside from the $60 ticket, not much is needed to get in the front door except maybe the Mom Prom's biggest claim to fame: its no holds barred fashion statements.
"Bright, poofy, sometimes animal print dresses with big hair," said McCormick of the most popular styles that have been on display at past events. "It's definitely the '80s all the way. And who doesn't like the '80s?"
So if having a rollicking good time (sans male escorts) while helping out a worthy cause is your bag, then stop wasting time and check out the event's website at mompromnashua.org for information.
Remember, that's the Mom Prom to be held on April 26 from 7 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. at the Alpine Grove Banquet Facility in Hollis, N.H. (just outside of Nashua). Ticket sales end April 21.