by Alicca Cavaretta
After the conclusion of Destrehanís prom last Saturday, 153 students gathered in the high school gymnasium to take part in safe, fun activities for the first Promapalooza.
They showed up not only to have fun, but for the chance to win some impressive prizes that included a TV, iPad minis, laptop and household items perfect for college.
Once word spreads about the eventís success, even more students are expected to attend a similar event at Hahnville in May.
"We wanted to give an alternative to the traditional after-prom party, but we wanted them to be able to have fun, also," said Mary Lou Sumrall, director of special programs for St. Charles Parish Public Schools.
At 1 a.m. students began checking into the event that lasted until 4:30 a.m. Just for showing up, seniors got to pick out of a box and collect a gift, such as a $25 gas card or a $15 iTunes card. In order to enter the gym, students had to be wearing their Promapalooza t-shirt given out those who paid a $2 fee when they purchasing heir prom tickets.
Juniors and seniors in attendance received 100 punch cards that were used to play games throughout the night, such as a sumo wrestling contest, Plinko, Twister and an obstacle course called Adrenaline Rush.
"I heard that it was fun, so I decided to come. It reminds me of being a kid again," Destrehan senior Rickey Jefferson said. "The Adrenaline Rush is my favorite activity."
Each game played resulted in two or three holes punched into attendeeís cards. After the cards were filled with punches, students placed them into a numbered bag corresponding with a numbered prize on the two prize tables.
After filling their cards with holes, students were anxious to drop their cards into the bags that corresponded with the prize that they wanted to win.
"Itís a lot better than I thought it would be," Destrehan senior Ryan Terrebonne said. "I decided to come because one of my friends came and I am really enjoying myself. I would really like to win the 32" Vizio LED TV. That would be awesome."
At 2:30 a.m. students were asked to finish putting tickets into a select group of smaller prizes - a $50 Visa gift card and four blankets - were given to two seniors and three juniors.
Once 4 a.m. rolled around, elated juniors and seniors listened closely as St. Charles Parish Public Schools risk manager Scott Fazio announced raffle winners of the eventís large prizes including gift baskets, Vera Bradley laptop sleeves and purses, dorm refrigerators, iPad minis an HP laptop and printer bundle.
"I will definitely be in attendance again next year. I loved being able to compete against all of my friends that came, and the prizes were awesome," said Destrehan junior Mia Dufresne, one of the two iPad mini winners of the night.
Hahnville senior and Promapalooza committee member Nicole Stebbins said she will never forget the smile that the senior who won the TV wore for the remainder of the night.
"It really made me feel like the hard work that the parents and students who were on the committees did paid off and I am glad to say that I was a part of this event and wish I would have been able to experience it in previous years," Stebbins said. "We have begun something that will continue to grow and be better in upcoming years. We have truly left a legacy.",
Over 69 local businesses and community members donated both prizes and money to help Destrehanís Promapaloooza be a success.
"Promapalooza was a total community effort and was supported by the judges, Sheriffís Office and small and large businesses in St. Charles Parish," Sumrall said. "Each contributed by donating money, food, gift certificates and items for college dormitories or apartments. There were numerous volunteers from the community who helped decorate, wrap gifts, monitor the games and activities and cook for the event. Promapalooza could not have happened without volunteer hours given by the school and community."
In addition to donations, over 50 volunteers spent countless hours to make this event happen.
"From the beginning, parents came out to fully support the event. Parents of baseball players, choir members, band members, football players and dance team members were all on board to assist in the success of Destrehanís Promapalooza," Hahnville senior and Promapalooza committee member Jacques Petit said.
Destrehan principal Stephan Weber is confident the school will see increased participation in the future.
"Promapalooza is going to build. I didnít know what to expect coming into this, but sooner or later, it will grow," he said.
At the conclusion of the evening Theresa Kieffer, Destrehan senior and committee member, had a beaming smile on her face.
"Promapalooza has been the greatest experience in my high school career. Tonight was awesome," Kieffer said.
Hahnville High School will also be hosting its Promapalooza immediately following the HHS prom on Saturday, May 4 in the Hahnville High School Gymnasium.
Volunteers are needed and donations are still being accepted. If you would like to donate or volunteer, contact Angela Fenerty at (985)817-0065 or firstname.lastname@example.org at or Yolanda Hingle at (504)559-4670 or email@example.com.
(Alissa Cavaretta is the Editor-in-Chief of Hahnville High School's web publication Behind the Stripes. To read more of her work visit their website at www.stcharles.k12.la.us/BehindtheStripes/index.cfm.)
|DHS seniors won big prizes including a 32Ē Vizio LED TV, HP laptop, printer, and $100 J&K office supply bundle, an iPad mini, two dorm room refrigerators and a microwave.|