Archived Story

Prom season was a success

Published 4:32am Friday, May 17, 2013

By Thor Bergland,

Austin High School counselor

Yes, we focus on the traditions of prom with all the extravagant dresses, tuxedos, dinners, pictures and family gatherings, but for the Chemical Health Awareness Initiative, prom is about keeping students safe.

CHAI hosted our annual After Prom Party at Echo Lanes Bowling Alley immediately after prom. Our mission was to provide food, refreshments, bowling, games, prizes and an environment student-friendly enough for them to participate. Students have an opportunity to pay in advance for a $7 fee or pay a $10 fee at the door.

At this year’s After Prom Party, we gathered 220-230 students. That is 220-230 students who were safe in the high risk hours immediately after prom. Ultimately, this is our number one goal with CHAI.

CHAI is a collaboration of parents, community resources and school professionals that came together back in 2005 to address the high number of chemical violations from the student body. Parents still have an opportunity to volunteer at functions like after prom with CHAI.

This year a few brave parents gave away their comforts of their beds to help chaperone until 3 a.m. Thank you to those who did so! Also, thank you for not only supporting a function that helped keep the whole prom day and night for students safe, but also in the quest of achieving no chemical violations from any of our students. This definitely supports the original mission from CHAI. We had to take on a using chemical culture that somewhat endorsed underage drinking.

Our community’s culture and attitude towards chemical usage and underage use is changing. Our success with after prom is a mirror image of this shift in culture and attitude. CHAI is thankful for the continued support and response we get from the students, parents and community resources to maintain this fight.

Together, we are able to look at or now historical pictures of the 2013 Prom and simply enjoy them for what they are; great memories, not tragedy.

Every year CHAI will be hosting an after prom party and there is always need for volunteers.

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