Prom A Night To Remember Essay Topics
Something was missing at this prom—and everyone was glad it was gone.
It’s prom night: girls in fancy hairdos and beautiful dresses; guys looking their best, some in tuxedos or suits. There’s music, decorations, good food, and lots of new people to meet.
But there are a few things missing from this particular prom, like crude dance moves, offensive song lyrics, girls in immodest dresses, and guys who have been drinking.
The reason? Instead of being sponsored by a local high school, this prom is being held at the Grand Blanc Michigan Stake Center and is sponsored by five stakes in the area.
While there is a lot of good in the whole idea of going to a prom where everyone is dressed up, using their best manners, and learning how to dance properly, what isn’t so great is what many proms sponsored by the public schools have become.
The solution: put on your own prom, but with Church standards as the guide.
Five stakes in Michigan got together and went all out to plan and pull off the best prom ever, where LDS teens didn’t have to worry about anything but who they wanted to dance with next.
And how did the teens respond to the whole idea of a Mormon prom?
Abby Clough of the Rochester Ward said, “Every time our leaders talked about it, it got bigger—three stakes, then four, then five. There were going to be so many people there.”
Having more new people to meet became a huge draw. “Awesome,” said Eric Griffin of the Blue Water Ward, “three times the girls to meet.”
Kofi Opoku, an LDS exchange student from Africa who is attending the Blue Water Ward, had to look up exactly what a prom was. “It said it is an event to have social interaction, dance, make new friends, and have fun.” Kofi was ready to do just that.
Taking Care of the Music
To make this Mormon prom happen, a few items needed to be addressed.
First, the music. Jake Anderson of the Fenton Ward remembered a bad experience with music at his school prom. He said, “They had one line in one song with cuss words in a row. They quieted the music so everyone could scream out the line. The songs were degrading.” But he knew he didn’t have to worry about that happening here. The disk jockey was a member of the Church and was sensitive to what would be appropriate. Plus, he had help in picking out the songs.
Right on the Money
School proms can be very expensive. As Brad Roemmich of the Clarkston Ward said, “You buy the tickets. Some people want limos. You have to pitch in for that. There’s the corsage and tux rental and dinner. It ends up in the hundreds.”
The stake prom used plenty of volunteers including adult leaders and the youth committees from all the stakes to decorate, fix food, and even act as photographers and coat-check attendants. Volunteers also manned the doors as security, patrolled parked cars in the parking lot, and created and distributed party favors. And, of course, because it was held at the stake center, there was no location rental fee.
Finding a Modest Dress
For prom, girls want to look pretty. They want a great dress and the fun of dressing up. And the guys actually appreciate the dresses more when they are modest. When Briton Moffitt of the Rochester Ward was asked if the girls looked good, he answered firmly, “Most definitely.”
Tiffany Morris of the Bloomfield Hills Troy Ward commented, “Here the guys say, ‘You look beautiful,’ instead of ‘You look hot.’ It seems like a real compliment.”
But modest dresses are hard to find. So where did all these hundreds of girls find modest prom dresses for this dance?
They were inventive and persistent.
“I went online and found a store that sold modest dresses.”
“My mom made it for me, and it turned out really well.”
“I got mine at the Salvation Army. It’s vintage . . . and inexpensive.”
“Mine is actually a costume from a musical I was in.”
“I bought one and then made a cute jacket to go over it.”
“I borrowed from my friend and bought a short sweater to go with it.”
“I found a cute top, and I already had a long skirt.”
One ward even paired up each girl with a Relief Society sister who could sew, and they made dresses that were nice for a dance and could be worn as a Sunday dress as well.
Groups of girls had great fun gathering to get ready. Lacey Paulson of the Bloomfield Hills Troy Ward said, “We came about two hours early. We were all curling each other’s hair and eating pizza and listening to music.”
Doug Jackson from the same ward was listening to Lacey and shrugged, “I got ready in 15 minutes.”
Brian Henson of the Midland Second Ward was even faster. He jokingly said, “The girls get ready together. Guys, we just shower, play some video games, and five minutes before you have to leave, you brush your teeth and get dressed.”
And how did the guys dress? Some came in tuxedos, but many of them confessed that they had tuxedos because they played in orchestra or sang in school choirs. Brad Jones of the Midland Second Ward said one lady in his ward had some tuxedos she had bought at garage sales. He borrowed one of those.
Many looked great wearing their Sunday suits or nice dress slacks and a shirt and tie.
Shall We Dance?
The dancing at this prom was going to be something everyone could enjoy. Jake Anderson of the Fenton Ward had just attended his school prom and was acutely aware of the difference between the Mormon prom and his school prom. “It’s nice not to worry about the dancing. You don’t have to be in the uncomfortable situation where someone wants to dance with you, and you really don’t want to because you know how they want to dance and you have to say no.”
Many wards had prepared the teens by giving dance instruction during midweek activities before the prom. Most felt prepared to have fun and dance ballroom style. Amanda Rosenhan of the Grand Blanc Ward said, “We dance kind of old-fashioned, and I like that.”
At the end of the night, the teens in Michigan went home with some nice dance photos, a few treats to eat in the car, and memories of a fun evening. This prom was a night to remember, not a night to regret.
Faran Clark of the Lansing Holt Ward said, “A lot more people came than in past multistake dances. I guess it’s about dressing up and having a nice night out. You get to primp and look nice.”
And, as her friend Andrea Brown of the Lansing Owosso Ward added, “It’s a good chance for us to realize that we can have fun together and still keep our standards.”
More than 125 clients came together on Friday, May 2, 2014 for Special Tree's Spring Fling dinner dance at Roma's of Garden City. Now in it's 14th year, the annual event draws Special Tree clients, staff, friends and alumni from all over Southeast and Mid-Michigan for a festive night filled with food, music, dancing, socializing and more. The many hours of planning and coordination by staff paid off once again with a fantastic event that seems to top itself year after year.
This spring's theme Prom: A Night to Remember, inspired by a residential client who had missed her own high school prom, added a fun new twist to the evening. When staff heard about Marlene G.'s desire to attend prom, having missed hers after experiencing a traumatic brain injury several years ago at sixteen, they began brainstorming ways they could give her a second chance at the quintessential teen rite of passage. They presented the idea to the Spring Fling committee, and the "Prom 2014" theme was born.
In addition to the usual banquet dinner, live band, and fabulous dance party, clients decked out in tuxes, ball gowns, top hats, and other finery. When Marlene was crowned Special Tree Prom Queen, there was no bigger smile in the room than hers.
“Everyone said it was the best Spring Fling we’ve ever had,” reflected RiverView Program Manager and Spring Fling Chair Debbie Justice. “We’ve done some wonderful themes in the past, but nothing nearly as big as this. The whole prom thing got everyone geeked. I was really happy with how it turned out.” Even the party preparations took on a new life, with most of the clothing and jewelry collected through a series of donations, and clients meeting up for 'Diva Night' and tuxedo shop outings to get ready.
Clients arrived at Roma's in cars, vans and even a wheelchair accessible limousine. Looking their sharpest in suits, dresses, gowns and tuxedos, they entered the hall to find a flurry of decorations, and a corsage or boutineer for every attendee—made by clients in the InPro vocational program.
There were even party favors, and a sparkly balloon backdrop to pose for the traditional Prom Photo. After a delicious sit down dinner, live band Remedy took off with popular covers and clients flocked to the dance floor. Later in the evening, a conga line formed to the tune “Soul Train.”
“That [conga line] will be done at every event now. I really think that’s going to be a new tradition with how much the clients took to it,” said Justice. “It’s funny, but we have this new staffer who at some point in the night ran up to me and gave me this huge hug. She said ‘I can’t believe I get paid to do this!’ It was just such a great night. It turned out really great.
“That [conga line] will be done at every event now. I really think that’s going to be a new tradition with how much the clients took to it,” said Justice. “It’s funny, but we have this new staffer who at some point in the night ran up to me and gave me this huge hug. She said ‘I can’t believe I get paid to do this!’ It was just such a great night. It turned out really great.”
Pulling off an event of this magnitude requires tremendous coordination by many people, organizing everything from transportation, scheduling, dietary needs, client supports, decorations, and more. But the effort is so worthwhile. Infusing the recovery process every so often with events like Spring Fling provide an important break from the rehabilitation routine, and greatly enhance clients' quality of life.
"It's one of my favorite events all year," shared CEO Joe Richert. "Seeing everyone coming together and enjoying themselves, you really see the value in doing something like this. Until you've witnessed what happens on that dance floor, you just can't imagine what a tremendous morale boost this is—for clients and staff alike."
Justice specifically acknowledged the incredible work of the Spring Fling committee, many of whom were new to the team this year. “It takes a lot of people to put the Spring Fling together," she said. "But it was so fun and totally worth it.”