It’s about 11:20 p.m., and my night is more or less just beginning.
No, I haven’t flashed back twenty years or so to the days when I stay out all hours in Manhatttan. That era is most decidedly over. Instead, I’m doing my small part to keep young people in our community safe, helping continue a tradition that’s been a part of Worthington for at least 50 years.
As a member of Worthington’s Noon Kiwanis Club, I – along with all the members of the club – am responsible for transporting Worthington High School students to and from prom activities. (I should note that our club gets some outside help from some fine folks in the community, as well.) And for those of you who aren’t familiar with the WHS prom, it’s an all-night affair.
I picked up my three couples at about 6:15 p.m. tonight in my neighbor’s van (thanks, Jeff!), as Becca was out of town on a school trip. I got them to the school in time for the grand march, which began at 7 p.m. The dance eventually followed, and it’s winding down as I write this. A dinner for students as well as drivers and other volunteers will begin at 12:15 at the school, after which students will get driven back to their pickup points to get changed into more comfortable attire. They’ll be at Prairie Elementary by 2 a.m. for games and other activities, then picked up there at 4 a.m. to be taken to Memorial Auditorium for a hypnotist program. By then, I’ll be fortunate if I’m not in a trance myself.
Each year, it’s enjoyable being part of prom in this way. Not only do I think the driving program is a great public service, but it’s fun to see the young men and women dressed to the nines and excited about their big night. The meal is a good chance to visit with a bunch of folks from around the community, and the hypnotist each year is a riot (though I’m sure it would be even more hilarious if I knew more of the kids being put under). I don’t plan on going to snooze until it’s all over – I don’t think I’d rest much anyway, as I know I’d be nervous about oversleeping for a pick-up.
I’ll probably be a tad hung over tomorrow (not the other kind of hangover; those days are gone, too), but I imagine I’ll be back up to speed by say, Tuesday, for our next Noon Kiwanis get-together. Anyone’s welcome, by the way; we’ll always eager to bring in new members. It’s a great club, and I’d like to think we help do some pretty nice things for young people in Worthington.