Student Council, PTO prepare for Prom, After Prom


Harsimran Makkad

TICKETS. Student Council and PTO members sit at the tables in the Commons, selling tickets for Prom and After Prom during lunch. Prom tickets cost $35 while After Prom tickets cost $20. Money from sales will help fund the events.

  Each student’s buildup to Prom starts weeks before April 28: promposals, dress and tuxedo shopping, flowers, groups and dinner plans – it goes on and on. Then, it all culminates into what students hope can be a once-in-a-lifetime evening.

  Yet in order to provide this evening, months of effort and planning go into making Prom and After Prom possible.

  Student Council juniors started preparing for this year’s Prom over a year ago, particularly looking to book a venue and DJ early.

  “Our very first thing is to find a date. We have to chose one that fits around AP testing and the Sycamore schedule. Then we find a venue. This year, we chose the Manor House in Mason. Once we have the date and venue, we then have to decide on a theme and DJ.

   “We are doing ‘Midnight in Paris’ this year to fit with the classy and upscale venue. The DJ was recommended from Loveland High School as they had him in the past and really enjoyed it,” said Elizabeth Van Den Brink, 11.

  After figuring out the major details, they started working on decorations to match the theme. On the day of Prom, those juniors will set up the venue in the day and tear it down immediately after.

  This year, the cost of Prom totaled to about $20,000. This was initially paid for by taking out a loan from Sycamore, which is paid back from ticket sales.

  “Planning prom can be stressful in the beginning, especially if a lot of venues have already been booked. Once we got a venue, most of the other things are more fun to plan because we are choosing things that we think the student body would enjoy. It’s cool to basically plan your own ‘party’ and then hopefully see a lot of people having fun,” Van Den Brink said.

  Meanwhile, After Prom is put together by the PTO, with a committee of 15 parents meeting starting last fall. The decorating committee began working in January, meeting once a week to prepare to transform the school into a totally new experience.

  About 550 students attend each year, and 150 to 200 volunteers work the night of the event.

  “The high school PTO introduced an After Prom in 1996 to provide a substance-free way for our students to celebrate this high school milestone. After Prom was suggested by the Northeast Community Challenge Coalition (NECC), whose mission was to promote Healthy Communities-Healthy Youth.

   “NECC is no longer in existence. Sycamore now has one of the largest After Prom celebrations in the Cincinnati area. After Prom is a great way to keep our kids safe and at the same time, provide a fun and memorable evening for them,” said Mrs. Tami Comerford, head of the PTO After Prom committee.

  With the theme of “Aloha Aves,” the goal is to simulate a tropical paradise. Doors open at midnight, and the event ends at 4 a.m. on April 29, directly following Prom.

  The event is supported by all PTOs in the district, booster groups and sport teams, parent groups, community organizations, parent donations, and local businesses that donate food and gift cards.

   It takes about $20,000 to fund the event, with the budget including games/inflatables, casino tables/equipment, raffle prizes, food, entertainment and decorations.

  More specifically, offerings for entertainment this year include two airbrush tattoo artists, hypnotist shows, entertainers from the Cincinnati Circus, a casino area, ping pong tables, and inflatable games. Raffle prizes will include a Nintendo Switch, an Echo Dot, a Kate Spade purse, Kings Island passes, and tons of gift cards.

  “We try to research what may be popular with teenagers. We talk to local vendors and gaming companies to see what inventory they have. Our game rental company attends a vendors show in November and gets the latest update on inflatables and new games.

   “We also use a local company called Cincinnati Circus to hire entertainers. We talk to them about what is popular and what may fit a theme we had in mind,” Comerford said.