Hammond parents know how to plan an after-prom party -- and in a hurry


May 21, 1999|By Lourdes Sullivan | Lourdes Sullivan,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

HAMMOND HIGH School seniors will dance the night away at their senior prom tonight.

It's a gala occasion, a magical time with everyone dressed up in their best finery.

No one wants it to end, so seniors often move from the dance floor to someone's home, where they party until dawn and go out for breakfast the next morning.

This year, a more organized alternative will be available. Hammond's seniors are welcome to party until dawn at the Supreme Sports Club in Columbia.

A group of parents and students decided to find a way to extend prom night past the last dance by throwing a party. In slightly more than a month, they put it together.

Parent Sue Tyng spent a few weeks getting the project started. She called other schools where an organized after-prom party had been tried. And she culled the best ideas.

Other schools took three to six months to organize this kind of party; Hammond had six weeks.

Pam Paulding and her daughter Georgia thought the centrally located Supreme Sports Club might be a great venue for the affair. As Girl Scout leader and Scout, the mother-daughter team had arranged for troop sleep-overs at the club.

Pam was impressed with the staff's cooperation. But the sports club is not inexpensive.

So Tyng and others petitioned the senior class, the PTSA, Kings Contrivance village center, Rouse Co. and the Howard County Board of Education.

All pitched in to help pay for the rental.

Then Tyng, who said she had only a little time to contribute to the project, passed the baton to Pam and Georgia Paulding, who coordinated the remainder of the enterprise, although Pam allows that not a lot was left for her to do.

"My job has been incredibly easy because all these people came in and helped," she said.

Included in the group of helpers are PTSA president Brenda Katz, an accomplished fund-raiser, and parent Denise Acott, who collected a huge number of door prizes from area businesses. Hair and nail appointments, dorm furniture (such as stacking bins) and a computer were donated.

Pizzas and lunch-meat platters will pour in to the club to feed the ravenous hordes -- half of whom, remember, will be teen-age boys. Parent Vicki Traber collected the food from Safeway and other providers.

Other parents helped coordinate the chaperons. Joy Garvey rounded up parents willing to stay up all night after a hard day's work.

She even recruited Hammond secretary Robin Smallwood and Richard Ebb, who handles security at the school.

The party will include hot and cold food, roller-skating, swimming, a sauna, basketball and dancing.

Party games such as Twister and Sumo are on the menu, and door prizes will be awarded.

Regular skate rental is free for the night, with a a small charge for in-line skates. Towels are free, but swimsuits must be brought from home. Tuxedos are not allowed in the pool.

Tickets are $5 and will be available at the school and the prom.

The partying students may show up any time from 1 a.m to 5 a.m., but once in the Sports Club, they cannot leave and then return.

Students should be gracious when leaving and thank the tired adults.

Strawberries in June

As local gourmands know, the Savage United Methodist Church Strawberry Festival will be held across the street from the Savage Fest on June 5.

This is a bad day for dieters; the church numbers many great cooks among its members. They cook up barbecues, pit beef and lots of strawberry shortcakes for the event. The two events are scheduled on the same day each year.

This year, church members will be getting the strawberries fresh the day before the festival. Someone -- a church member who shall be nameless to protect his bargaining power -- will go to wholesale food markets in Jessup to get the best deal on ripe berries.

In other years, church members have gone to area farms to pick the berries themselves.

The church members are a real can-do bunch. Benny Mullins made the first barbecue grill out of sheet metal for the open-pit beef that's traditional at the festival. He later sold it to Ma's Kettle restaurant, but the church had the use of it for the festivals.

The arrangement worked fine, but this year Chuck Vollmerhausen decided that the church needed a barbecue grill of its own. So he built a new one.

Tomorrow, Jeannette Vollmerhausen, mother of the sheet-metal craftsman, will be busy mixing up shortcake dough. She and her colleagues will make more than 500 shortcakes, assembly-line style, in the church's professional kitchen.

The crew is so practiced and adept that they expect to finish by 1 p.m.

Then, off into the freezer these delicacies go, awaiting the ice cream and berries.

The strawberry festival will be held at the church, rain or shine.

Baked goods aplenty, face-painting and other activities will be available from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Bring your appetite to Foundry and Baltimore streets, and enjoy.

Pub Date: 5/21/99

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