Riverhead High School hosted its senior prom Thursday — with a new twist.
The school sponsored a pre-prom photo-op and reception called “Sparkle and Shine.”
The event, coordinated through the Riverhead Community Coalition for Safe and Drug-Free Youth, was meant to address the issues of drinking and drug use during the high-risk social outing that is the prom.
“We just want to keep the kids safe,” said Clare Lundberg, who helped coordinate the reception. “This is the first year we’re doing this and we’re really hoping to grow it.”
Peconic Bay Medical Center and Ivy Acres provided a photo backdrop and plant and flower arrangements for the stage in the auditorium. Prom-goers were able to walk on stage, strike their best pose for the local newspapers’ paparazzi, and then continue out of the auditorium for personal portrait shots.
Emcee Matt Piscani of Clean Slate Living (a non-profit that helps adolescents in local communities) made sure to get everyone excited as he announced each couple. After enjoying some refreshments, students boarded Hampton Jitney buses to take them safely to Smithtown to dance the night away.
Parents seemed to enjoy the new tradition.
“I thought it was very nice,” said mother Jeanne Schumacher. “And I absolutely thought it was a safer choice for the kids.”