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After Prom promises fun for 65th year

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David and Louise Lindsey attended their after prom party in 1957 and remember having a great time.

The high school sweethearts hope to see the event continue, so they made a donation and included with it a note: “I hope this $70 will help with the expenses so this class will have a great time.”

This weekend will mark the 65th After Prom, and committee chairwoman Jan Hatfield promises this year will be as much fun as ever.

The event is 12:30 to 3:30 a.m. Sunday at Foundation for Youth, and it’s open to all juniors and seniors from Columbus North High School, Columbus East High School and Columbus Signature Academy New Tech High School — even if they do not attend prom.

The theme is Viva la After Prom: Cuatro de Mayo. There will be a professional photographer, lots of food and Coca-Cola products, elaborate games and tickets for prizes.

“It’s just an incredible amount of fun, and people don’t know that until they get there,” Hatfield said. “I guarantee you’re going to come home with something.”

That could be a T-shirt, a Keurig coffeemaker, a concert ticket or a microwave, among other prizes. There will also be a cash bingo game.

That’s part of the reason Hatfield considers the event a great equalizer.

She remembers a disadvantaged female student attending the event three years ago. The girl’s face lit up as she won prize after prize — an iPhone, a gift card and a camouflaged hat she planned to save for her brother as a Christmas present.

“She had a chance to get things she wouldn’t normally get,” Hatfield said. “And what’s great is she had an equal chance to get as many prizes as anyone else. You don’t have to have a single dime.”

Admission is free, although families of all juniors and seniors are encouraged to send a $35 donation. All games and activities are free.

“Nothing in this world is free anymore, but everything about this is free,” Hatfield said.

But she said the After Prom committee may not be able to sustain that model for long if donations do not pick up. For the past few years, they’ve had to dig into savings to put on the event.

If contributions — like those from the Lindseys — keep rolling in, they’ll be in good shape.

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