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Once again, Springdale High & Co is prepping for the prom

| Monday, Jan. 24, 2011

The rapid-fire changes of technology and culture have not changed one tradition.

The prom seems to remain a signature event in the life of many, if not most, high-school students.

Like their parents and grandparents before them, high-school students anticipate the arrival of the evening after much contemplation and anticipation.

For Springdale High School, that red-letter day this year will be May 13. The theme is "A Night Under the Stars," and it will be held at Springwood in Penn Hills.

Another important date comes Sunday with Springdale's annual prom fashion show at the school auditorium, an event designed to inform and entertain. "It is a fun way to help lower the cost of prom tickets so more students may attend," says teacher Linda Burns, class sponsor and emcee for the show. "Those attending the prom always have a great time and dance the night away."

"The prom is still one of the highlights of the student year," says junior Chelsey Adams, a member of the prom committee, who adds that she considers it a privilege to attend.

For girls, at least, the prom continues to be the subject of dreams, says junior class president Kimberly Watterson.

"It's something most girls look forward to starting in ninth grade. You go to the promenade (as a spectator), and all the thoughts about your dress, your hair and your date start," she says. "When it's your turn to go, you have overthought everything, and you are so ready and excited. You feel confident in your dress choice, and you're ready to be with friends and your date to have a memorable night."

The prom fashion show is an excellent way to prepare for that night, Adams says. "It will offer a preview of dresses, tuxedos, hairstyles and accessories," Adams says.

Male and female students from the junior class will model.

There always are new trends in style and color, length, prints and other areas, Watterson says. "In past years, large ball gowns were fashionable. However, there appears to be a trend toward sleek and sophisticated," she adds.

This year, adds Sharon Watterson, a show organizer and Kimberly's mother, "the colors are bolder and brighter than ever." "Pattern dress and slim lines will be a part of the show, along with gowns that sparkle beautifully."

The show appeals to a wide audience, Adams says. "Younger children who come have something to look forward to in the future," she says. "It has been well attended in the past, and we look forward to another great year."

Each year brings a new flavor to the show, Sharon Watterson says. "The character of the show changes with new students from year to year, and each year, the theme changes so the decorating is different," she adds. So does the music that the girls choose as taped background when they walk out in their dresses.

Kimberly Watterson says the prom still is an event that the junior class sponsors to honor the senior class. "It is their last school event before graduation, and you want it to be nice," she says. "That's why when you are on the prom committee, you want everything perfect from the venue to the food, decorations and music."

A DVD of the fashion show can be ordered for $10. A bake sale, raffle and Chinese auction also will be held.

The show is the largest fundraiser taken on each year, Watterson says. "It requires parents, students, teachers and administration to help with planning, music, lighting and decorating to make it a success." This year, the challenges have been significant, Watterson says, because of construction at the school.

"Over recent years, the cost of the prom has become a large expense for the school and students. We need to raise about $10,000 to keep ticket prices under $50 per guest. So, the main goal for the fashion show is to provide an entertaining event that people like to see and be part of year after year, while raising money to help keep the cost down," she says.

She is grateful for the support that is given. "We have community members who do not even have students involved in the show who come and help," Watterson says.

Additional Information:

Prom Fashion Show

When: 2 p.m. Sunday; doors open at 12:30 p.m.

Where: Marshall auditorium, Springdale High School

Admission: $6

Details: 724-274-0643


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