Post-prom bash at Oregon Ridge emphasizing fun, not alcohol Loch Raven High parent-sponsored party to have DJ, prizes, no booze.

May 24, 1991|By Meredith Schlow | Meredith Schlow,Evening Sun Staff

If it's a bribe, it's OK with Jenna Maguire.

In an effort to keep teen-agers from drinking at after-prom parties, parents of seniors at Loch Raven High School are hosting an after-prom bash at Oregon Ridge tonight that will include video games, a DJ, breakfast -- and door prizes.

"It'll be a fun evening -- and I would be psyched if I walked out of there with a mountain bike," said Maguire, 18.

With prizes such as mountain bikes, it's hardly a surprise that after their prom at the Hunt Valley Marriott, most Loch Raven seniors plan to head to Oregon Ridge for a night of alcohol-free fun.

And, although some say that attending a party hosted by their parents isn't exactly what they thought they'd be doing on prom night, it might not be so bad after all.

"No one's real excited about it, but they're going to make the best of it," said Elise Blanche, 18.

"It's something to do -- and I could use a new TV," agreed Andy Novak, 17.

Loch Raven parents spent three months raising more than $4,000 in donations for the party, which will include a breakfast paid for by the Baltimore County Office of Substance Abuse.

The breakfasts are "something we've been doing for a couple years, free of charge," said Michael Gimbel coordinator of the office. "These parents took our basic idea and carried it much further than I'd ever expected."

Charlene Volk, whose son, Brian, is a senior, said the idea for an after-prom party with prizes and games came from her sister-in-law who lives in Ohio.

"For the last five years the parents there have sponsored a casino party," she said. "We're basically fashioning ours after that one."

Upon entering tonight's bash, seniors will be handed a door prize ticket and $50,000 in play money. There will be a variety of casino and carnival-type games for them to play, and each $10,000 they save will buy another door prize ticket. Prizes will be awarded at the end of the evening, around 3 a.m.

Seniors admit that the prizes are the party's biggest attraction. And, of course, a free breakfast doesn't hurt.

"We're a bunch of moochers in our class," said Missy Compton, 17.

"As long as these guys are getting free food out of it, they'll go," agreed Alli Marcum, 17.

Although parents say they want to keep their kids from drinking and driving this prom season, they stress that they have another goal as well -- to show their children it's possible to have a good time on prom night without drinking.

But "it's a real struggle," Volk said.

"The traditional thing to do after prom is to go from party to party and drink along the way," she said. "We're just trying to give them another option."

This year, some seniors say, Oregon Ridge is their only option.

Parents' enthusiastic involvement in the after-prom party has led to the extinction of parties hosted by adults who may have allowed teen-agers to drink, seniors said.

"If you don't go to [the Oregon Ridge party,] you're going home because there's not going to be anything else to do," Marcum said.

"In a way, we're being forced," said Sue Steffey, 18. "But I guess it's a good force."

While students recognize the good in their parents actions, some said they think their class is being used as the guinea pig for an experiment that won't have long-term effects. Some said they expect their younger siblings will be drinking and partying after their proms in a few years.

"What [parents] want now is different than even what they did when they were seniors," said Marcum. "This party won't stop [drinking]. It'll just put it off for a while."

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.