After Prom event gives students chance to be kids one last time

Jun 1, 2018

Tiki torches lit the way to the gym where Dartmouth High students were welcomed to the jungle for After Prom festivities on May 31.

“It feels like a giant birthday party, and I think it’s awesome, to me especially, to leave high school with something so awesome to remember,” Maren Harrison said as she determined her next move in Jenga against her friend, Kris Tavares.

Although the two didn’t attend prom, they, along with other seniors, participated in various activities for more than five hours.

The bleachers where seniors once cheered on fellow classmates became a safari with murals draped along them. Several tables filled one portion of the gym where students were able to sit down and relax after participating in dancing, obstacle courses and even a mechanical bull. Each senior also got a $50 Amazon card and four won a $1,000 Visa gift card.

After Prom was started by Kathy Gaspar, her husband Steve, and Michelle Lyons 24 years ago as a way to give students a substance-free place to hang out after prom.

This year’s theme, Welcome to the Jungle, was coordinated by Jessica Lassey, Maria Kelly and Jesse Grieve.

“We thought it was kind of punny – Welcome to the jungle – welcome to adulthood,” Lassey said.

The entire event took between 20 and 30 volunteers, including district faculty and parents to help set up over several hours. Various items like food was donated by area businesses.

“It’s important to keep our kids safe,” parent Sandra Sousa said. “We know where they are. We want them to have a healthy and safe environment where they get to have fun for a bit.”