Volunteers Needed

A planning meeting is being held on Jan. 18 for Prom Plus supporters who want to help with community outreach and planning regarding upcoming fundraisers – and the main event in May.
File photo

By Mikaela STONE

On Thursday, Jan. 18, Prom Plus is calling to action the local Glendale Unified School District parent and student community to attend a planning meeting at the Fire House youth center, 2563 Foothill Blvd. on the campus of St. Luke’s of the Mountains Episcopal Church.

The genesis of Prom Plus was an outpouring of community activism after the preventable murder of Crescenta Valley High School student Berlyn Cosman at an unsupervised post-prom hotel party. Prom Plus treasurer Megan Johnson noted Cosman had done nothing wrong but be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The Prom Plus nonprofit is dedicated to making certain students have safe places – not just for the end-of-prom party in May – the vision is safe places throughout the year. This intent is shared by the volunteers at the Fire House nonprofit, which was co-founded by Prom Plus Club students, offering a judgment-free protected place for students to go. The timing of the Jan. 18 Prom Plus meeting coincides with the Fire House’s free weekly after-school homework help program – Homework Café – when middle school students work with tutors each Thursday to gain clarity on subjects they may struggle with. Both CV High student volunteers and even a professor are available to offer help on a variety of subjects. If all goes well, the Fire House plans to explore art events and offer up its basketball court during these times as well.

Student pickup on Thursdays from the Fire House is at 5:30 p.m. – which is also the time the Prom Plus meeting begins. Parents who would be on-site anyway are encouraged to attend the meeting. The goal of the meeting is to gain dedicated parent and student volunteers willing to do community outreach and planning regarding upcoming fundraisers.

While the program is happy to accept single event or monthly volunteers, Prom Plus president and full time teacher Joy McCreary is hoping to find the right volunteer to fill the president position so she and Johnson can focus on the interpersonal and soft skill aspects of the program. The incumbents are available to give anyone excited by this potential opportunity ample training and resources to ensure they feel prepared for this transition.

Prom Plus organized 80-plus student volunteers from GUSD to work in the Montrose Christmas Parade and many of the current adult volunteers are seeing their grandchildren attend and even graduate from Crescenta Valley High School. After years of “wearing many hats,” as Johnson described the adult volunteers, they wish to pass the torch to a new set of parents who care just as much about the community’s children. Prom Plus is seeking those who offer inventive new ways of fundraising, outreach and connection with other nonprofits.

Volunteers with Prom Plus and the Fire House are excited to see what visions the community has for their future – they just need the people power to pull it off!

Prom Plus volunteers hope to hold a planning event every month of the remaining 2023-24 school year, all in planning for the May event … giving the community ample opportunity to come together in support.

For those looking forward to upcoming events, GUSD students, parents, teachers and supporters are invited to dine all day at the Oceanview Bar and Grill Dine Out on Jan. 25. A March bingo night is in the preliminary planning stages. Prom Plus will host a family-friendly evening of bingo games in association with the American Legion and are currently accepting donations for potential prizes.

Prom Plus is also interested in partnering with other nonprofits that focus on youth in the community.

The Prom Plus planning meeting is being held on Jan.18 at 5:30 p.m. at the Fire House, 2563 Foothill Blvd. in La Crescenta (at Rosemont Avenue).