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Prom plans call for dancing the night away

High school's biggest social event is just around the corner for many students.

By MARYAN PELLAND
Published March 15, 2007


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It's prom time in Hernando, and high school students are already deep into their preparations for the big event.

Halls have been rented, dresses are being sought and teens are looking for overtime hours at work - trying to pay for "an evening to remember."

Springstead's big to-do is Friday at Sparton Manor in New Port Richey. An "Affair in Time Square," as it has been dubbed, has an individual ticket price of $65, including dinner. The junior class throws the party to honor graduating seniors.

Central's gala is March 31 at the Westin Innisbrook Golf Resort, Palm Harbor, and the theme is "Paradise by the Seashore." Tom Russel, one faculty adviser for the event, said most kids don't invite a date.

He said of 471 attendees last year, only 140 were part of a couple.

Russel explained, "More kids get the opportunity to attend prom. No one sits around worrying about an invitation or date, they go in groups."

Central puts music video DVDs on 10-foot screens and by midnight, Russel, says, they have to practically drag kids off the dance floor.

Hernando's prom is also March 31, at Glen Lakes. Like the other schools, attire is formal.

Nature Coast Tech might get points for most original venue - Raymond James Stadium's pirate ship. It's a late date, May 12, but adviser Vivien Tolley was delighted to nail the venue and keep it a secret until the "formal" pep rally announcement last month.

"We just knew years from now when these kids say their prom was at Raymond James, everyone on earth will know what they're talking about," said Tolley.

Advisers agree all school behavioral rules, except dress code, apply to prom and all agree behavior has never been a problem.

Russel says the formal attire affects conduct in a positive way. As kids leave, he remembers, every one of them says thank you.

Fashions for prom 2007 include everything from Katherine Hepburn beaded suits to Southern belle hoops. Most girls opt for slinky, Hollywood designer-style silhouettes.

Costs can break down like this:

Tuxedo rental, about $55.

Flowers, $75.

Dress and accessories, up to several hundred dollars.

Hairstyling and/or makeup, pedicure, manicure complete with fake nails, $150.

Tickets, $65 each.

Prom photo package, $50-$100.

Expenses are doled out over months of preparation, like Christmas, by the time it's done and kids (and their parents) realize the damage, it's too late to worry.

But the memories? Priceless.

Fast Facts:

Free gowns available for girls in need

Free prom dresses are available for Hernando County high school girls. About 100 dresses in all sizes are available through the General Federation of Women's Clubs, Spring Hill Service League. Fittings will be at a location in Spring Hill, near Spring Hill Drive and Mariner Boulevard. Appointments must be scheduled to look at and try on dresses. Call Katherine Erickson at 238-9161.

[Last modified March 14, 2007, 23:24:54]


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