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Red Cross Benefit Prom Expected to Attract Younger Crowd

| February 11, 2013 | 0 Comments | Community Service

Attendees dance at last year's Red Cross Benefit Gala at Heritage Hunt Country Club. (Photo Credit: Kathy Strauss Imagewerks)

This year the National Capital Region Red Cross Chapter will hold its under-the-sea themed prom at Heritage Hunt Country Club in Gainesville April 26 from 7-11 p.m.

Rebecca Vaughan King of Gainesville volunteered to organize a prom committee to ensure the charity ball that raised $45,000 for Red Cross last year would continue.

Vaughan King, who cofounded the integrated marketing firm ImagineDesign and is active with the Red Cross and Prince William Chamber of Commerce, felt she was up to the challenge of directing the prom committee.

She also saw the change in leadership at the National Capital Regional Chapter of the Red Cross as an opportunity to introduce the nonprofit organization to a younger crowd.

“The reason I choose to do a prom and not a gala is because I wanted to open up the Red Cross to a new audience. A lot of young people are concerned and want to be involved, but they don’t know how,” said Vaughan King.

Keeping with that objective, the committee decided on an “under the sea” theme as something a little more playful. Couples enjoyed the dinner, silent auction and dance music, while raising $45,000 for the regional Red Cross last year.

“I wanted it to feel a little kitschy, and I want to have a nice kind of balance between the tacky funness and have it be a little bit classy. I thought it would be a tradition, prom theme, that people would recognize and be familiar with,” Vaughan King said.

She also set ticket prices this year at a more affordable $50, hoping to encourage mass appeal.

Couple enjoys their dinner at the 2012 Gala to support the Capital Region Red Cross. (Photo by Kathy Strauss Imagewerks)

So far, she has been happy with how the prom has been received. She reported that more people under-40 plan to attend this year. At the same time, the nonprofit has retained their core donors, volunteers and attendees of previous galas.

Beside the sea décor, the prom will also differ from the gala in that it will be serving heavy hors d’oeuvres, coffee, dessert and a cash bar, rather than a sit down dinner. The prom committee decided this would leave more funds available to be donated directly to the charity.

They also thought a light fare would get more people on the dance floor, where a DJ will spin everything from classic rock, 70-90s retro, to modern pop, rap and hip-hop. If last year’s guests were fierce on the dance floor, just wait until Prom night 2013.

Heritage Hunt also agreed to have more sea-themed cakes and desserts brought in to go with the prom’s theme, and dessert will be donated by the Aubergine Chef in Nokesville, Eloise’s Pastries of Warrenton, Happy Eatery of Manassas and Sweet Intentions of Middleburg. ImagineDesign of Manassas is creating all the promotional material, and Imagewerks of Lake Ridge will donate its services, photographing the event.

In addition Blush Bridal at Atlas Walk in Gainesville agreed to donate 10 percent of the proceeds when attendees purchase their “prom” dresses at their boutique. Plus, Heritage Hunt is providing a discounted rate. This will allow 85 percent of proceeds to go directly to the charity.

In the months ahead, the prom committee is looking to sell sponsorships in their programs, on signage, banners and other promotional material for the event.

One couple had fun dressing up for a night out in Gainesville. (Photo by Kathy Strauss Imagewerks)

Premiere sponsorships are still available ranging from $3,000-1,000, and they include several tickets to the event, recognition, podium time and raffle tickets for the grand prize. Those who have already signed on as premier sponsors include SuntechPrince William HospitalNOVEC and Micron.

To be more inclusive this year, all the sponsorship prices have been slashed in half. Vaughan King hopes this will encourage more local businesses to get involved with the charity. For smaller businesses, organizations and individuals, they are selling ad space in their programs ranging from $100-200. Vaughan King hopes people will have fun with this year’s prom theme, as they have in years past.

Prom guests can also take part in the silent auction, raffle and can snap mementos in the photo booth, all of which will help raise money for the Red Cross, and businesses can donate items to the auction.

Vaughan King wants readers to know that all the money donated to the Red Cross will stay in the DC Metro Area helping people who are their friends, family and neighbors. It helps people regain their footing after a house fire, or a large scale natural disaster.

“When a tragedy strikes, the Red Cross is amazing in what they are able to do to really put people’s lives back together,” Vaughan King said. “How many house fires there are in this county alone? There were so many families displaced on the eastern side of the county that the Red Cross helped out and gave them homes.”

She also expects people people will enjoy the night out, knowing that plenty of people would love to relive their prom as the more confident, self-assured individuals they have become since high school. She hopes to see them all “under the sea.”

To purchase tickets, make a donation or find more information about sponsorship opportunities email Rebecca Vaughan King at, call 703-873-7740 or visit The Red Cross Prom also has a Facebook page.




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