Prom Plus: Past, Present and Future

A climbing wall is just one of the many activities that CVHS seniors can enjoy at Prom Plus.
File photo

Prom Plus has been a part of Crescenta Valley for almost three decades. Its tagline “Saving Lives One Prom at a Time” basically states it all.


Prom is one of those nights that is exciting and worrisome. For seniors it is part of a ritual that has lasted generations. It signals the start of their future beyond high school. It is a time to celebrate these last precious moments with friends – many of whom they have known throughout their entire school years.

For parents and guardians, it can be a time of great joy mixed with concern –they understand their young adults will be stretching their wings and, in some cases, boundaries as they dress in their finest and go off to the dance.

For 28 years Prom Plus has offered Crescenta Valley High School seniors and their guests a safer alternative to after-prom parties. With an army of volunteers and supporters, the Prom Plus organization transforms the Crescenta Cañada YMCA – this year on June 4/5 – into an after-prom oasis that offers everything from a zip line to a full casino to keep the party atmosphere going long after the last dance.

“I have been a part of Prom Plus since I attended Prom Plus when I was 17 years old and myself a [CVHS] senior,” said Joy McCreary, who is now the president of Prom Plus. “Since then I have continued to watch Prom Plus be such an exemplary part of our community and continue to provide a safe after-prom party for all seniors at Crescenta Valley High School, year after year. My younger brother, younger sister, and my older sister have all attended Prom Plus. Prom Plus has been a staple in our family for decades.”

As a CVHS student McCreary was an active member of the Associated Student Body, including serving as ASB president. She also served on the Glendale Unified School District board as the student representative. She was active in PTSA and was a part of the school’s Prom Plus Club. She is now a teacher with Los Angeles Unified School District.

“Being president of Prom Plus is such a culmination of community service for me. I’ve been involved with Prom Plus since I [was] in high school and now that I can do it as an adult and as an alumna makes it all the more rewarding,” McCreary said. 

Prom Plus started as a grassroots effort by parents and community members after the murder of a CVHS senior in 1991. Senior Berlyn Cosman and some fellow classmates attended an unsupervised after-prom party at an Anaheim hotel. Berlyn was asleep when a young man, who was 19 at the time and who was also from the Crescenta Valley area, shot and killed her. The loss rocked the CV community in many ways. The founding members of Prom Plus wanted to do something to support students by giving them an alternative to an unsupervised after prom party.

“I think Prom Plus is relevant today, now more than ever,” McCreary added. “At a time when we are reconnecting with our community and solidifying our community values, it makes it all the more important for us to prioritize having a safe, inclusive place for seniors to go.”

Past Prom Plus President Robin Goldsworthy got involved with the organization in 1999, only five years after it was founded.

“I was recruited by [Prom Plus] founding member Marian Mirsky who was manning a table at a Back to School function,” Goldsworthy said.

Mirsky was known as the “grandma” of CVHS. She shared the importance of Prom Plus with everyone she met and was a tireless outreach supporter.

Prom Plus was constant but at one point the numbers of those attending began to drop. Under Goldsworthy’s leadership kids got involved with the organization with the formation of Prom Plus Club at the high school. Outreach and new ideas for fundraising continued under her leadership including the Taste of Montrose and the annual holiday boutique.

“Seeing the number of attendees increase over the years demonstrates that there is an ongoing need for an event like Prom Plus. The fact that so many students make Prom Plus a part of their prom night plans justifies the amount of work that is put into the event by volunteers and reminds me of its importance,” she said.

But after over 20 years at the helm, Goldsworthy decided to step down as president, although she remains past president, volunteer and organizer.

“I stepped back from Prom Plus as its president to make room for the parents whose kids are in the school system and who want to be a part of such a dynamic organization. I’m excited to see in what direction the new leadership, specifically under its new president Joy McCreary, will move this 28-year organization,” Goldsworthy added.

For most of its history, the Prom Plus event has been held at the Crescenta Cañada YMCA, thanks to the generosity of its board, but support is community – and county – wide.

Each year the organization raises funds to pay for the party that includes a full casino and lots of food and games like a zipline, mechanical bull, bungee run, bungee jump and much more. Prom Plus also gathers gifts for opportunity drawings for seniors that can help them in their future whether they attend college, trade school, workforce or just take a gap year.

Like most non-profits, the pandemic has been a blow to the Prom Plus not only for fundraising but, more importantly, with outreach efforts. It is important to get the word out to those who can donate and volunteer their time and to the seniors who are invited to attend Prom Plus.

“To keep the organization growing and, frankly, afloat particularly in a COVID-world we definitely need volunteers. We need volunteers for fundraisers, for the events, for supervision – all of it,” McCreary said. “We would love to keep providing this event for all CV seniors, but we can’t without the support of our community. Anyone interested in volunteering or donating: please contact us at or just send me a text/call at (818) 967-9032.”  

Many things have changed over the last 28 years but the one constant is teenagers and prom night.

“The issues of safety transcend time so having a safe, supervised [event] to celebrate being a senior is, of course, still of paramount importance,” McCreary added.  

CVW and its staff support Prom Plus.