Novelist Vickie Baum is credited with the saying “There are short-cuts to happiness and dancing is one of them.” The Galax/Carroll Relay for Life Second Chance Prom is an opportunity to put this to the test for a good cause. Organizer Judy Beasley thinks of it as all the fun of the high school prom, without the stress.
This is the third year for the event in Carroll County. It is slated for May 7 in the Carroll County High School gymnasium. Beasley said the prom is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. and end at midnight, but doors will open at 7 p.m. so participants will have extra time for photo opportunities. A range of music (for those 18-years to 90-years) will be offered by D.J. Leif Hewitt from Blueeyz Sound D.J Service. (Deejays Dave Newman and Krista Murphy were featured at earlier proms.) Tickets for the Second Chance Prom are $25 per person or $40 a couple. It is open to anyone age 18-years and older.
“One gentleman who regularly participates is in his 80’s and he dances more than the younger folks,” said Beasley. “This is a so much more relaxed prom. Participants do not have to wear formal wear. We have jeans to tuxedos. It’s more of a chance to socialize and get together, to catch up.” She credited the idea of staging the fundraiser locally for Relay for Life to her husband, Rick, who has seen similar events in areas such as Roanoke.
Beasley said the prom has earned about $3,000 each year for the past two years, and while organizers hope to raise more for Relay, they are glad their efforts haven’t lost ground with more than 130 participating in each of the two previous events. All proceeds go to benefit the Galax/Carroll County Relay for Life.
The American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life’s goal is to give everyone a chance to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember lost loved ones and fight back against the disease. Yearly more than four million people in over 20 countries take part in Relay for Life to raise much-needed research funds and awareness to save lives from cancer. The “zest” for life exhibited at Relay made the prom a natural fundraiser for the group.
She said participants regularly tell her they enjoy the laid-back atmosphere where “no one cares who is with who and what they are wearing” because chatting and sharing memories takes center stage. Beasley said CCHS National Honor Society student volunteers will once again return to help out so the adults can just have fun.
Beasley said one senior class student last year told her he planned on coming back because the second chance prom looked like so much more fun than his prom. She said the dances have had a good mix of participants age 20-years to 80-years. Light refreshments will be served at the prom, which benefits from the Cavalier’s annual prom decorations which typically are left in place from the previous night.
“A lot of people said that they are not with the people they were with in high school, so this is a chance they didn’t have then,” Beasley said. She encouraged participants to obtain tickets early, which helps planning for how many refreshments to have on hand. Tickets can also be purchased at the door on the night of the prom.
Tickets are available at Country Formals, Grayson National Bank and Ideal Florist in Hillsville, at Delps Photography in Galax, or by calling Beasley at 276-733-8008. Country Formals will offer a 10 percent discount on the purchase of a dress to those who have a ticket to the second chance prom. The shop will also donate $10 for every dress sold in connection with the prom to support Relay for Life.
Local photographer Craig Worrell will be on hand to take keepsake pictures for interested participants. The cost for pictures is $5 for a four-by-six inch photo; $7 for a five-by-seven and $12 for an eight and a half by eleven. Package prices range from $25 to $42.
David Broyles may be reached at 276-779-4013 or on [email protected]