Prom season is just around the corner, and RAYSAC – Roanoke Area Youth Substance Abuse Coalition is already raising funds to support the After Prom Grand Finale. This event helps keep area teenagers safe at after prom parties. “We have not had an accident that resulted in injury or death to a student at a participating high school since the program started 24 years ago,” said RAYSAC Coordinator Kathy Sullivan.
And although the program has been a success, organizers are hoping even more high schools will participate in promoting drug and alcohol-free activities which are an excellent alternative to dangerous partying by offering students good music, food entertainment, prizes and fun in a safe environment. “We’ve had as many as 33 schools in the region participate in the past few years, but we would like to see closer to 40,” said APGF Committee Chair Ashley Hatcher.
Sullivan said RAYSAC was making changes to required training for participating schools. Since schools from nearly the entire western half of Virginia are invited to participate in the RAYSAC APGF we have added an online training video. This online video will enable school representatives to do one of the required trainings online.
Again this year, RAYSAC will offer a powerful incentive – a new car. The vehicle is a brand new Hyundai Veloster donated by First Team Auto Mall. It is the 21st year First Team has donated a vehicle. “We believe strongly in giving back to the community,” said David Dillon, president and general manager of First Team Auto Mall in Roanoke. “If our donation of a car keeps all those teenagers in a safe environment on prom night, it’s an easy decision.”
In addition to the car, organizers have added two iPads this year along with other electronics as incentives for youth to remain at their after prom parties. RAYSAC is looking for donations to pay for the other incentives. “We do our fundraising now, so we don’t interfere with the individual schools, which tend to solicit support closer to prom time,” said Sullivan. “We use the cash to buy gift cards, which the youth prefer.”
The Hyundai Veloster and other prizes will be given away at the After Prom Grand Finale at Valley View Mall on Sunday, June 3rd. Four people will be chosen from each high school to participate in the day’s events. Every student at the finale will select from a group of keys to the vehicle – but only one key will work. The student, who successfully unlocks the car, gets to keep it.
For more information on how to help keep kids safe on prom night or to make a donation to the cause, call Kathy Sullivan at (540) 982-1427 ext. 2123 or visit www.raysac.org