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Posted: Friday, February 14, 2014 12:00 am

It’s the last big party before graduation, and a group of Ralston High School parents are trying to make sure it’s a safe and memorable one for the school’s juniors and seniors.

But a lack of funds is putting the RHS Post-Prom celebration into some jeopardy. The party, which is billed as a safe, drug- and alcohol-free event at the high school, follows the May 3 prom dance and normally costs between $10,000 and $15,000 to stage.

This year, the Post-Prom committee is bringing in a hypnotist and the Pancake Man, the usual raffles, games and prizes, and is also hoping to do laser tag and a Family Feud-based game. Right now, the committee is running about $3,000 behind in its budget to do all of the planned activities.

“We want it to be perfect,” said Mischelle Cisar, one of just three members of the Post-Prom committee. “It’s a great tradition and we want it to be continued, but it really can’t be continued without some more support from parents.”

Cisar said Post-Prom has received support in the way of donations from parents and the Ralston business community, including gift cards and other prizes. What’s really at a premium, however, is having enough cash on hand to help pay for the activities.

“We’ve already made some agreements that we’ve paid for,” Cisar said. “There are others that, if we don’t have the money, we’ll probably just have the hypnotist and the Pancake Man, and that’ll be it.”

Cisar said if parents of juniors and seniors each chipped in $25, the committee would have $12,000, and maybe even the makings of a fund to ensure future Post-Prom events could have a head start.

As it stands, she said, there have been plenty of generous donors, including the RHS staff, which held a “jeans day” and raised $600.

“The school has done wonders donating money and support,” she said. “The schools foundation has also been very helpful.”

What Cisar said is most needed now is for parents to step up, donate and also to volunteer with the event itself.

A new element in this year’s Post-Prom is the involvement of the students themselves. Juniors and seniors at RHS have put out the word to parents, businesses and the larger community about the party.

The students have also had a say in what they’d like to see happen at the celebration.

“They’ve been making the choices and seeing what we can do,” Cisar said. “It is their prom. They want to have a say in how it’s going to be, and that makes it all the more memorable. We want this to continue to be a great event. It’s for the kids, and we hope the community will respond.”

Cisar also emphasized the safe environment Post-Prom is at Ralston.

“It puts parents at ease,” she said. “We have a controlled space, nobody can leave without a parent’s permission. It’s a nice, safe, fun alternative on prom night.”

Businesses or individuals interested in making a donation to RHS Post-Prom can make checks payable to Ralston Post-Prom Committee and send them to 5874 S. 104th Ave., Omaha, NE 68127. Or contact Cisar at 402-659-1375, Tammy Allen at 402-210-4365 or Kathy Evans at 402-672-6821.

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