“It’s a night out for charity ladies event,” Julia Wright, ARC community development manager, said.
The event serves as a time for grandmothers, mothers, daughters and groups of female friends to have fun while supporting a worthy cause.
This year’s theme is “The Great Gatsby.” Wright said dressing to fit the theme is not required. She said the planning committee wanted to pick a theme that would be fun for women of varying generations.
“It’s really fun for the young girls, but it’s also fun for the little bit older ladies,” Wright said.
Wright pointed out she has been involved in planning the event since it began three years ago. She said she has enjoyed her time on the planning committee.
Her favorite part is “... just the excitement we have in putting this event together and bringing other women in the community together and empowering them by saying, ‘Together, we can all do something to help others while having a good time.’”
New for this year is a commemorative photo and glass included with the cost of a ticket.
“And of course we will be nominating a prom queen,” Wright said.
Tickets are $40 or two for $75. Tickets for entire tables, which seat eight, can also be purchased for $300. She said planning is going well this year as there are only eight tables remaining for the event. The organization hopes to have at least 250 people at the fundraiser.
Money raised through the fundraiser will stay in the Bradley, Polk and McMinn area communities.
Wright said funding will go toward the Red Cross efforts providing for the immediate needs of families displaced by house fires.
“Just in January alone we have opened 129 cases for disaster relief in East Tennessee,” Wright said. “In Southeast Tennessee, we have had over 32 single-family fires since Jan. 1.”
Wright said every community the Red Cross serves in the region has been affected.
“We provide them with their emergency immediate needs which are food, clothing and (temporary) shelter,” Wright said.
Each year the American Red Cross of Southeast Tennessee tries to raise $25,000.
“This year we have two sponsors that have come aboard — La-Z-Boy and Tri County Carts. We are always looking for additional sponsors for this event,” Wright said.
In addition to raising funds, the Mom Prom also serves as a way for the Southeast Tennessee Red Cross to raise awareness in the community.
“We want to bring the importance of the Red Cross mission to the people who are the decision-makers in the home, which is often the women,” Wright said. “They are usually the most compassionate.”
Wright worked with the Red Cross since 2000.
“It was what I thought was going to be a transitional job. It just didn’t work out that way. Once you start working for the Red Cross, you start to understand that there is a real important thing in life, that ‘If you’re doing something you love, then there is never a day that’s work,’ and that’s true of the Red Cross,” Wright said.
She stressed the Red Cross “serves the gamut of society ... it’s everyone.”
In addition to responding to disaster, Red Cross coordinates emergency communication between the military and their families. This includes getting word to military personnel of emergency situations affecting their families.
“That’s another service that these funds will help pay for,” Wright said.
To purchase tickets, contact Wright at 423-593-7589 or visit www.redcross.org/momprom2014.
McMinn County High School is located at 2215 Congress Parkway in Athens.