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Stephens prom for charity takes retro turn

Thursday, April 30, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT

Stephens College students will be going back to the '80s for the school’s first prom on Thursday night, with proceeds benefiting a deaf and hard-of-hearing teen camp in Missouri.

The dance will be open to the entire campus, with many students going stag but still having the option to bring dates. A faculty or staff member will be announced prom queen, and a senior will be announced prom princess.

Leadership through Education and Advocacy for the Deaf Institute’s Teen Institute is a six-day training camp for deaf and hard-of-hearing high school students throughout the state, according to its Web site. The institute’s goal is to develop teenage education and prevention advocates, mainly in the areas of drug and alcohol abuse and HIV/AIDS awareness.

Dominique Richardson, a coordinator for the prom, said the '80s clothing and theme was a deliberate cliche.

“There’s going to be a photo booth with a student photographer to take group shots and solo shots,” Richardson said. “It’s all about the cheese factor.”

She knows someone wanting to dress up as “Carrie” from the iconic prom-themed horror film, and that she has a date who is giving her a corsage.

Ashley Harris, the junior class president at Stephens, came up with the idea to make the prom open to all class members to raise more money after it was originally going to be restricted to seniors.

“At first it was just seniors, then I gave (Dominique) some ideas,” Harris said. 

Richardson, an intern at the L.E.A.D. Institute and a volunteer for its crisis line, said that the prom's proceeds will help fill a funding gap.

“They’re losing grant money for the Teen Institute program,” she said. “We have an estimated 34 tickets sold, and expect to get many more people at the door. We’d love to get 200 plus, and I think we’ll exceed that. We have no set goal, because it’s the thought that counts.”

The prom, titled “A Night Under the Stars,” will be from 8 p.m. to midnight in the Silverthorne Arena at Stephens. Advanced tickets are $4, and tickets purchased at the door are $5.


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