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An adults-only social event in Edinburgh drew so much support last year, it helped reduce the costs for local students who play school sports.
Organizers hope this year’s Prom for a Promise, set for Sept. 29 at the Elks lodge in Columbus, does even better.
Kami Ervin and other Edinburgh Community Schools sports parents took action when they learned in 2011 that parents would have to pay a $25 fee for the bus rides to and from games.
The cost came as a result of budget tightening at the school district, which couldn’t afford to pay the entire amount of sports transportation costs. The athletic department still pays fuel costs, but bus drivers’ fees had to be passed on to families, Edinburgh athletic director Tim Jordan said.
So far, the fee has not affected sports participation, Jordan said.
Ervin helped organize the first adult prom, which drew 160 people and raised $4,200. The money was enough to get the new fee reduced to $10 per athlete per sport.
If all goes well this year, she hopes that the fee could be eliminated completely. The fundraising goal is $8,000.
“We wanted to eliminate one more expense to the parents,” Ervin said.
Ervin, who has two children in Edinburgh schools, doesn’t want to see any kids stop participating in sports because of rising costs. She said she knows what it’s like to feel the pinch: she spent a total of $300 in one year for one of her children’s sports costs.
“I quit playing sports after freshman year, because I knew we didn’t have a lot a money to spend,” she said. “I don’t want athletes to ever feel like they can’t play because it costs too much.”
The combination of support from last year’s event, a new venue in Columbus and a laid-back theme for the 2012 prom might propel the event to meet the goal, she said.
The wild, wild West theme should offer prom-goers many chances to have fun with silly costumes.
“What I want to see is some fun and creativity,” she said, adding that she hopes to see participants breaking out the gunslinger getup with their 10-gallon hats. “There are so many costumes that go with this theme.”
The night will feature a dinner, silent auction and the crowning of a king and queen.
Although the idea of going to prom might seem to be an activity only for teenagers, the event had a lot of appeal, Ervin said.
“It’s something people can do together,” she said.
Other kinds of fundraisers, such as golf outings or motorcycle benefit rides, don’t appeal to residents who don’t do those specific activities, but a formal event is something any couple can go to, she said.
“This is something people can really embrace. They can have a lot of fun and let loose and hang out with friends — and raise money for a good cause.”
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