By Shana Adkisson
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — It will be like time stood still Saturday night as those in the Norman community put on their best powder blue tuxedoes, with ruffled shirts of course, or pink taffeta dresses that are accented with oversized hairdos.
A charity for Bridges, a Norman non-profit that helps high school and college students who are living alone due to a family crisis to graduate and pursue a career or higher education, Prom 2.0 will allow party-goers to turn back the clock and dress in prom clothes from their favorite decade.
“The reason we chose to do a prom is we feel that it ties well into the high school experience, which is, of course, what we focus on with our kids,” said Bridges Executive Director Debra Krittenbrink.
Prom 2.0 will be at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Joy’s Palace, 300 E. Main St. Tickets, which can be purchased online at www.bridgesnorman.org or by calling Bridges at 579-9280, are $30. The evening will include music by DJ Adrian Buenida, snacks and adult beverages.
“Evidently it’s stirring a lot of memories for people. I’m seeing old pictures of people on Facebook. Prom, rather you loved it or hated it, it made an impression. It’s been fun to revisit that and hear people’s stories,” Krittenbrink said.
Since no prom would be complete without the crowning of a king and queen, six individuals in the community have been vying for the coveted Prom 2.0 crown. King candidates are Sean Crandall, Class Jock; James Chappel, Class Rebel; and John Davenport, Class Nerd. Queen candidates are Diana Hartley, Student Council President; Kris Abbey, Most Popular; and Tatiana Proctor, Class Cheerleader.
The crowning of king and queen will be determined by the candidate who has raised the most money online at www.bridgesnorman.org.
Prom 2.0 is being spearheaded by a group from Leadership Norman, a Norman Chamber of Commerce leadership program. In the past, Leadership Norman classes have been individually assigned to attend board meetings of Norman non-profits. This year, the class was divided into five teams. Each team is doing a project for a non-profit.
“They have done just an incredible job. I feel so incredibly fortunate to have help from Leadership Norman. The Norman community as a whole has been really supportive of Bridges, but this group has gone above and beyond. They even came out one evening to set up an apartment. They’ve been around some of my students and they have a huge heart for the kids who are overcoming obstacles to go to school,” Krittenbrink said. “I was happy that Leadership Norman came to tour Bridges and people on the committee chose Bridges. They were not assigned. That makes me very humble.”
For Hartley, the fundraiser is more about being nominated to the prom court, she’s also Board President of Bridges and has been on the board for about four years. Hartley also is the leadership development co-chair for the Norman Chamber.
“It isn’t really about me winning prom queen, it’s obviously about raising money for our students. If we can do that and have fun, it’s worth it,” Hartley said.
To further her quest for prom queen, Hartley has gone so far as placing a photo of herself and her former high school prom date on Facebook. She’s also sent out emails to friends urging them to vote.
Davenport has taken a similar approach with Facebook and emails while campaigning for Prom 2.0 king.
“I’m trying to have fun and do it for a good cause,” Davenport said. “Bridges is a good cause. Every kid has a dream and I think it is our opportunity as citizens of this community that every young adult has an opportunity to succeed in life and Bridge allows that.”
While Chappel was slipping in votes, he planned to invoke the sympathy card this week by sending emails to friends asking for donations. Chappel said that he had no problem volunteering to be the prom’s class rebel since he has seen first-hand the positive impact that Bridges can have on students.
“We have had a few students from church who have benefited,” Chappel said. “Sometimes the kids are in a bad way and it’s no fault of their own and its always good to have support in education to help them manage school and take care of family.”
Even though his ranking for Prom 2.0 king hasn’t been what he would like, Chappel knows the event is for a good cause.
“If we do raise a good amount of money, I think that’s what Leadership Norman wanted to do,” Chappel said.
Funding from the prom will be used for student’s needs.
“We also have the Jim Agar Bootstrap Scholarship. It is a $2,000 scholarship to higher education. We are using proceeds to fund those scholarships,” Krittenbrink said.
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