By MADDY VITALE
On Saturday, Ocean City High School students will make memories in a major milestone in their lives – prom night.
They will walk the red carpet at the historic Flanders Hotel. They will eat, dance and enjoy the night.
Afterward, they will also have the opportunity to continue the festivities in a safe and alcohol-free environment with After-Prom.
The free event, in its 28th year, will offer an array of ways to keep students entertained with cool games, live entertainment, music, inflatables, food and giveaways that will be donated by local businesses. The theme this year is “Light up the Night.” There will be a surprise at midnight.
The fun begins at 10 p.m. Prom-goers will be shuttled over to the high school, where they can get changed into After-Prom T-shirts and other comfortable attire. From there, they head up to Gillian’s Wonderland Pier on the Boardwalk until midnight.
Last year the students enjoyed their time at the amusement park, said Amy Holmes, co-chair of the After-Prom Committee.
“The event at Wonderland was so successful last year because it gave the kids a place to enjoy something outdoors,” Holmes noted.
From midnight to 3 a.m. the festivities will continue at the high school.
Each year Holmes, and her husband Bill Holmes, of Upper Township, along with Jennifer and Charlie Bowman, of Ocean City, co-chair the event. They do it with the help of other volunteers along with the local businesses who donate gifts and food.
Jennifer Bowman said being involved in the After-Prom each year is a wonderful experience.
“It is humbling to see how the After-Prom comes together. It’s awesome how much support we have received over the 28 years from the school district, the city, and the Miss Night in Venice committee,” Bowman said.
She continued, “It seems that year after year, we continue to witness the support of both old and new local businesses, as they partner with us to provide a safe haven for our teenagers. Our hometown definitely values good, wholesome fun. After all, that’s how Ocean City was established.”
Holmes also emphasized the importance of the event as a safe place for children to go for a night of fun.
The focus of the event is to make sure the teens are safe, while out having a good time, Holmes explained.
“The point of After-Prom is to keep the kids away from temptations,” she said. “We want to tap into their inner child.”
Each year, there are about 125 volunteers for the event. The team is made up of parents and guardians, as well as alumni. Volunteers are still needed for setup, the event itself and cleanup.
“Our Ocean City families never disappoint,” Holmes said of the volunteerism and generosity of the community. “We are so grateful for their time and donations. We are looking forward to another great After-Prom.”
For more information, visit “Ocean City High School After Prom Party” on Facebook.