BURLEY — After a long hard year, it’s time for Mini-Cassia women to dust off the old bridesmaids or prom dresses for a fun-filled ladies night out that will benefit a good cause.
The Burley Best Western Inn & Convention Center, 800 N. Overland Ave. teamed up with Mini-Cassia Shelter Crossroads Harbor for the Burley Mom Prom, 7 – 10 p.m. April 10 at the Convention Center. The cost of a ticket if purchased prior to the event is $20 or $25 at the door. Tickets can be purchased on the Burley Mom Prom’s Facebook page or from a committee member.
“This is a great cause and all of the money stays right here,” Andrea Hamblin, banquet manager at the convention center said. Hamblin is also on the prom committee. “The money will help people with real needs right now.”
The event is for women ages 18 and up and will feature alcoholic and non-alcoholic bars along with music and dancing.
Finger foods will be served and there will be a photo booth. Participants will also walk the red carpet and have their photos taken with one of several famous men who will pose as their prom dates — depicted in life-sized form on cardboard, of course, including Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Elvis, Clint Eastwood, Zac Efron and Blake Shelton.
The theme is “Dancing through the Decades” and the venue will be decorated with disco balls, crepe paper and balloons and the tables will be themed according to decades.
Husbands and boyfriends are encouraged to support the cause by sponsoring tables, buying their wife or girlfriend a ticket or making a donation.
Tanya Merriman, director of sales at the Burley Best Western Inn & Convention Center, also on the committee, said the Mom Prom is a nationwide event but it’s the first time one has been held in Mini-Cassia.
“It’s just a fun way for adult women to get together,” Merriman said.
“And it’s a good way to relive our prom days,” committee member Gina Jameson, with Kat Country radio said. “I have the perfect 70s teal paisley dress.”
Women are encouraged to borrow or trade to find a dress that works for them.
“The dress can be an old prom dress, bridesmaid or even a wedding dress or something that was thrifted,” Merriman said. “They don’t have to spend a dime on the dress.”
She hopes some of the women will choose to wear some of the big poufy taffeta dresses, popular many years ago.
“We won’t be discriminating with the dresses at all,” Hamblin said, who owns a navy blue 1920s inspired long gown that she’s intending to wear. It’s a good way to get some use out of a dress she’s only worn twice, once at her mother’s wedding and once during an event at the Wilson Theatre.
A prom queen will be crowned and committee members will go around during the event to see if smashingly dressed women want to participate. The queen will then be chosen by vote.
An Aqua Net award for the most special coif will also be given out.
There will be a silent auction held and the cardboard dates will also be auctioned.
Mrs. Mini-Cassia Syrah Burton will also be speaking about why the event is important.
Bronson said the money that is raised will be used to help pay for things at the domestic violence shelter that aren’t paid for through grants, like a first-month’s rent, electrical deposits and food along with items the shelter is running low on like diapers and pajamas.
A donation table will also be set up at the event.
Bronson said the shelter has been steadily busy and in January served 43 clients.
“We are seeing more serious cases. Women are coming to us with visible bruises,” Bronson said. “When I first started we didn’t see those things.”
Bronson said the severity of the cases may be due to increased stress levels during the pandemic.
“It’s been a stressful year and people have been isolated together,” she said.
Bronson said due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they can only place one family at the safe house, where previously they could house three families. That means more people are being placed in alternative temporarily housing, which increases their costs.
The shelter is also needing money to repair the sprinkler system at the safe house.
The shelter also reaches out to family of homicide victims to help with funeral costs and clothing.
“We don’t have the funds to pay for that but we reach out to other coalitions for help,” Bronson said. “Unfortunately, it seems to happen a lot in our little area.”