Dreams Do Come True: fundraiser gives prom another chance

You got stood up. Your corsage gave you hay fever. The wrong guy (or girl) asked you to go. Your limo had a flat tire on the way to the event. Your mom insisted on giving you and your beau a ride to the dance. Your date got busted for spiking the punch. The band was lame. There was no band. The band played all Celine Dion, all the time.

There are millions of reasons that adults might want to recapture their teenage dreams and take another pass at a perfect prom night.


Courtesy photo
Second Prom organizer Heather Holaway’s attended her high school prom with date Jonathan Janacek in 2001.

Enter Second Chance Prom, an innovative fundraiser that benefits the Northwest Arkansas Learning Center. The event promises to finally give adults the chance to have the magical prom they always dreamed of — complete with a cool party band and (deliberately) spiked punch.

Co-founder Heather Holaway says it her partner, Alicia Simmons, gets the credit.

“She said, ‘I have this idea. I would love to have an adult prom. I just don’t know who to give the money to,’” remembers Holaway. The two worked together previously on the Fayetteville fall event Oktoberfest. “She’s just that kind of person — she just has one of those souls to do things like that. I’m kind of along for the ride.”

It was Holaway’s idea to have the event benefit the Northwest Arkansas Learning Center. She started out working for the organization as a volunteer. “We specialize in working with kids with autism and developmental disorders and delays,” she says. “It’s a neat place, and it’s never been funded properly.

“This is such a different event for Northwest Arkansas — it’s not the usual charity event. I think it’s a great entry event for younger people who are interested in getting involved in fundraisers.”

The night will include a “punch flight” of alcoholic drinks prepared by the Fayetteville chapter of the United States Bartenders’ Guild. 3B’s Brandon Lee will serve as emcee. Music will be provided by the ’90s party band Dial Up!, and Holaway says other decades will be represented by music played during the band’s break. Speaking of decades: While dressing in the style of a certain decade isn’t required, it may be rewarded by prizes given out periodically through the night. And, of course, there will be a prom queen and king. Nominees for the royal court include community luminaries like Fayetteville’s Funky Yard Sale owner Daniel Roulet, Dr. Joshua Roller from Roller Weight Loss and Advanced Surgery, fashion designer Emily Onemanband Smith, Do College Better CEO Anna Morrison, Umami Edamame Lacquer Nail Lounge’s Imro Burnet-Sedney, McNair Middle School’s Chris Young, Alie Wood, Norman Irving and Stacy Stewart of Bentonville’s House of Styles. The general public can vote for prom king and queen by visiting www.rebrand.ly/secondchanceprom through April 13.

Holaway says she and Simmons are excited about the opportunity to give folks who never got to fulfill their prom dreams another try.

“I got goosebumps when we really started talking about it,” says Holaway. “This would be a great opportunity to raise money and do something cool for that school, but it’s also a great thing for those who didn’t have a good prom. Kids who were bullied, maybe, or who didn’t get to go to prom at all.

“A sweet girl [from Life Styles] got hold of us and said she was nominated for prom court in high school, but it turned out to be a joke. She was bullied over it. She’s 23 but still has nightmares over it. She’s so excited, because her boyfriend from the Elizabeth Richardson Center is going to come with her, and we’re going to do some really special stuff for her at prom. I love that we’re giving adults a chance to do it all over again.”



Second Chance Prom

WHEN — 7 p.m. April 14

WHERE — Town Center, 15 W. Mountain St., Fayetteville

COST — $35

INFO — https://prom.planningpod.com/



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