Plans for ‘Un-Prom’ event move forward

By Nola Sizemore nsizemore@civitasmedia.com

February 19, 2014

The road to helping every high school student have the opportunity to attend a prom began at a meeting of the Harlan Tourist and Convention Commission at the Harlan Center on Tuesday.

Approval was given to host an “Un-Prom” event at the Harlan Center from 8 p.m. to midnight on March 22 for those students who would rather go to a prom in street clothes.

The cost will be $5 per person.

Brandon Pennington, tourism director, told members the invitation to attend will be extended to all high school students countywide.

“Donell Busroe approached me with this idea,” said Pennington. “As of Friday, Donell contacted me and said she had 12-15 adult chaperons for the event. Mark Lawson is willing to DJ the event at a low cost and Tera Day is willing to donate decorations.”

Pennington said this will be a type of event where “once you have entered the event, you will not be allowed to leave until the event is over.”

“The doors will be locked and if you leave the event you will not be allowed back in,” said Pennington. “Donell said she had gotten a lot of interest in this from the students. I personally think this is another way we can engage with the community and provide events for people to come to.”

Suggestions were made on ways to identify students as being active students attending local high schools. Members agreed a plan needs to be established so that “anyone other than active Harlan County area students” not be allowed into the event.

In other action, Pennington reported more than 220 people have pre-registered for the upcoming Harlan County 5K Run With Color event on April 12. He said 40-50 volunteers from the Appalachian ChalleNGe Academy will assist with the event.

Roger Fannin, commission member, noted this event is “bringing people into Harlan County.”

Pennington said businesses are encouraged to set up tents and give away coupons to the runners who participate, therefore promoting tourism in the county.

“This is impressive,” said Fannin.

Nola Sizemore may be reached at 606-573-4510, ext. 115, or on Twitter @Nola_hde