By Brandon HENSLEY
Every year after a high school prom, there are students who round up their friends and dates, get a hold of some alcohol and spend the rest of the night daring the police to come and crash whatever party is being thrown. Then there are the students who attended CV High’s Prom Plus.
Prom Plus held its event at the Crescenta-Cañada YMCA from midnight to 5 a.m. last Saturday night, and provided a supervised, but also fun atmosphere for kids to either cool off from the prom or continue to have fun.
“We are so lucky to have Prom Plus. I don’t know many high schools that have the luxury of having something like this,” said CV assistant principal Sungsook Kim, who has attended every Prom Plus all 13 years she has worked at the school.
The theme was sports and a giant video of highlights from CV teams this year was shown outside the YMCA gym. There were plenty of activities for the 300-plus students who showed up.
A gyroscope ride, a mechanical bull ride, and a rock climbing wall were all available. Inside one room, Las Vegas-type casino took shape, as the room had several card tables set up. Students who won chips could cash them in for raffle tickets, and prizes were given out at the end of the night – well, morning.
CV grad Sabrina Walentynowicz had her own area to give students tarot card readings, something she did last year as well. Prom Plus raised $30,000 to hold the event this year, according to Aimee Yeghiayan, a CV junior and Prom Plus Club co-president. Funds raised went toward the rental of the many activities and also made it possible for the prom attendees not to have to pay an admission fee to Prom Plus. For those who did not attend prom but wanted to only attend Prom Plus, an admission fee of $20 was paid at the Y door.
“Prom Plus is a worthy cause. It’s something we really needed for CV, and for this community,” Yeghiayan said. “Because the kids need to a place stay safe and not have to worry about other people affecting their prom night.” Volunteers included Glendale Police Officer Joe Allen, former CV Town Councilmember Kim Mattersteig and her daughter Sherice.
“I think it’s a really neat program for high school kids to have fun,” said Sherice, who graduated from Village Christian School last decade. “I’m just jealous we didn’t have this in our high school.”
The students seemed to have a good time.
“It’s well organized,” said Laura Widholm, who attends Clark Magnet High School but went to prom with her CV friends. Widholm said she wanted to have fun but stay away from any loud music, something she had enough of earlier in the evening.
Despite the plethora of activities, including caricature drawing and fake tattoo stations, what was most important to student Jacob Magana?
“Food,” he said. Indeed, sandwiches, pizza and cookies were all part of a large spread available. But Magana, who volunteered for Prom Plus last year, also recognized its importance.
“It’s important because it takes us out of the streets and we don’t have to worry about dealing with any problems or have the cops show up to the party and crashing it,” he said. “It’s actually more fun because you do get to meet new people.”
Socializing in a safe environment is the cornerstone of Prom Plus and students recognized that.
“There’s a lot to do,” said senior Kailey Tindle. “And it’s safe, obviously.”
“It’s just so good to the see the kids so well taken care of by the community,” said Kim.