After Prom Party offers a destination for safe celebration

Middle school students dancing in the The Base beneath Alex's Place. — Photo by Laurel Whitaker

An After Prom party, the first of its kind in 12 years, will keep the festivities going long after the dance at Lola’s ends for the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School junior class. A group of parents and community volunteers will host what they hope will become an annual post-prom experience that is fun, healthy, and drug and alcohol-free.

The after prom party is open to all juniors, whether prom-goers or not, and prom dates. The free party will begin at 10 pm on Saturday, May 17, at the YMCA, which generously donated the use of its facility. Attendees will be encouraged to stay the night and enjoy tasty breakfast fare before the party ends at 5 am on May 18.

The event offers a poolside D.J., a bungee run and other games, karaoke, music, a velcro climbing wall, movies, great food and some fabulous door prizes and raffles, according to an email from the After Prom Party Committee co-chairmen Rachel Araujo and Debbie DeBettencourt. The group of parents and community members that serve on the committee organized the event with assistance from the Dukes County Youth Task Force, which also serves as their fiscal agent.

“There have been a number of parents and Youth Task Force members who wanted to create a change like this over time,” Ms. DeBettencourt said. “We started meeting about it late this winter and decided let’s just go for it; let’s give it a try. There is a good group of people behind us.”

Ms. DeBettencourt said the idea of an after prom party is not new. The Martha’s Vineyard Boys and Girls Club used to host similar events from the late 1990s until 2002.

“We asked a couple of the moms that used to be involved for their guidance, and they’ve been very helpful in giving us ideas,” she said. “We don’t know how many kids to expect, but we hope the after prom party will build momentum and become a tradition.”

Although many in the Island community have already come forward to generously support the after prom party with contributions and assistance, Ms. DeBettencourt said the party committee is still seeking prizes and monetary and food donations, “something that 17-year-olds would like.”

For more information or to contribute, call Ms. Araujo at 774-310-0027 or email her at Ms. DeBettencourt’s phone number is 774-836-6448 and her email is