Mom Prom more than just dresses and dances

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First Posted: 4/16/2014

How about a dance with Steve Carell? Maybe hitting up the candy buffet is more your speed? No matter what type of prom attendee you may be, wouldn’t you love to show off that formal dress you only had the chance to wear once?

You can do all this and more at Mom Prom, a local charity event where proceeds go to the Greater Northeast Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

“It’s a lot of fun for the ladies, and at the same time, we raise funds for a great charity,” said Barb Mikielski, who organizes the event along with her sisters.

Four years ago, Barb saw the idea on TV, a national event that was started by Betsy Crapps.

“The day of our Mom Prom is not just for us,” Mikielski said. “There will be Mom Proms happening all over the country.”

Each year, the proceeds from Mom Prom have gone to the same organization, and each year the amount raised has grown.

“It’s a special charity to me because I lost my brother to suicide in 2005,” Mikielski said. “The whole idea is to bring awareness, to let people know what AFSP has to offer and at the same time try to raise funds that will continue the education they provide.”

Mom Prom is a ladies-only event for those 21 years of age and over. Women gather in old prom gowns, bridesmaid dresses, and really any formal wear that they’ve had nary a use for to glam it up for one night.

“We give out a Prom Queen award,” Mikielski said, “and we do have an award for Tackiest Dress, but no one has won it because everybody just loves to get dressed up.”

There’s a cash bar and appetizers to partake in, as well as a photo booth and candy buffet. There are also raffles for gift baskets, gift certificates, tickets to see the Philadelphia Phillies, and items from Thirty One.

There’s also a new way to win some treats this year.

“We’re having a cork raffle, where you can purchase a cork for $10 and have a chance to win a whole bunch of bottles of booze,” Mikielski said. “We have wine, Crown Royal, Absolut, all different kinds. We have about 40 donated so far.”

And what would a prom be without a fun date? Worry not, because Mom Prom provides some, well, unusual options.

“We’ve got your dates right there, and they’re life-size cardboard cutouts,” Mikielski said with a laugh. “Steve Carell comes out every year, Alan Jackson, Elvis. The girls love to take them out on the dance floor and have their picture taken with them.”

Every year a new date pops up – but this year’s is a surprise.

“They’re going to be very happy,” Mikielski said of the prom-goers. “They’ve asked for this guy twice now.”