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WHS prom 'lights' up Saturday night

Worthington High School prom, May 1, 2010. (Kari Lucin/Daily Globe)

WORTHINGTON -- For slightly less than 200 Worthington High School prom-goers, Saturday night was more than all right.

The WHS prom, a Friday night fixture for many years, took place on a Saturday this year, with students enjoying activities that began with a 7 p.m. grand march and ended with the conclusion of a hypnotist program at approximately 5:30 a.m. Sunday morning.

Two couples -- seniors Courtney Meier and Steven Kremer, and sophomore Mandi Vote and senior Mitch Jensen -- had no problem with the day-of-the-week change.

"It doesn't really matter," said Meier, dressed in a purple gown. "I like Saturday night because I get to sleep in (beforehand)."

"I think Saturday's nice because grandparents can come from out of town," Vote added.

Joe Landwehr, who along with Gillian Giebner and John Singler served as advisers for the prom, said bringing families together for the day and festivities was a consideration in the switch to Saturday. Having a full day to prepare for the big night was another factor, he said.

The WHS program is organized each year by members of the junior class. This year's theme was "Above the City Lights," and the WHS gymnasium was decorated accordingly for both the grand march and the dance, which began close to 9 p.m. and continued until nearly midnight.

Joey Kinley, a junior attending his first prom with date Courtney Bradley, was clad in a white tuxedo with an orange tie that matched his date's dress, which was accented with silver beads. Kinley said he rented his tuxedo at The Stag in downtown Worthington.

Did he pick out his ensemble himself?

"She (Bradley) did everything for me," he said with a laugh.

Bradley, like most girls, reveled in preparing for the gala.

"I got my hair done around three and from there, I just got ready," she said.

There's much to get ready when organizing the prom, Landwehr explained. He should know -- he's been involved in the event for nine years.

"The reason why I'm really involved and continue to be is I feel the prom is so important to the kids, and I want to see it go off the best it can," he said. "There are more things that go into prom than an average wedding, and for some couples they're spending nearly the same amount of money. There's a lot of details that need to be taken care of, and being involved with it so long, some of them come easy to me."

Though Landwehr admitted all the preparations can be stressful, the evening is always ultimately rewarding.

"What I enjoy the most is after the grand march, I enjoy the dance and interact with kids and visit with them," he said. "It's not so much supervision; just socializing, really."

Worthington's Noon Kiwanis Club continued its long-time tradition of driving students to and from prom activities throughout the evening. A total of 42 drivers volunteered this year, Noon Kiwanis Vice President Andy Johnson said.

Ryan McGaughey

I first joined the Daily Globe in April 2001 as sports editor. I later became the news editor in November 2002, and the managing editor in August 2006. I'm originally from New York State, and am married with two children.

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