CLAIRE LEADEN PHOTO | Riverhead students pose for the cameras at Thursday’s pre-prom photo op.
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.”
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Riverhead High School students Mychala Conti, 15, and sister Rachel, 17, tried on some of the 2013 ‘Jovani’ prom dresses after having their hair styled. They said that their mom thought it would be a fun outing for them.
Carolyn Walter of Jamesport saw a post not too long ago on her salon’s Facebook page that a teenage customer of hers had been selected to model prom dresses for Seventeen magazine. That got her thinking about encouraging more teens to come to her Aquebogue salon.
“My original thought was to focus on a reason to make the place more teen friendly,” said Ms. Walter, hairstylist and owner of Carolyn’s Salon.
So she, along with her daughter Adrian Walter, the director of marketing and sales, brainstormed to create the first ‘Teen Event,’ offering reduced prices on hair styling, cuts, highlights and makeup tips. They also offered styling tips to use on an everyday basis and are raffling off free hair styling and makeup for one lucky girl who attended the event for this spring’s prom.
They teamed up with Magic Moments of Port Jefferson Station, which loaned the salon some 2013 ‘Jovani’ prom dresses for the young women to try on after having their hair styled.
“It’s fun to do something in the winter for teenagers when there is not a lot going on out here,” Adrian Walter said.
Stylist Kayla Giordano of Shoreham offered this makeup tip: “keep it natural and simple.”
Carolyn Walter has been styling hair on the North Fork for 25 years, and has been in the Aquebogue location at Vinlands Commons on the Main Road for past seven years.