SALEM — YOVASO needs your help to continue the 31-year-old After Prom Grand Finale Event.
The APGF event has struggled to remain financially stable after losing its major funding source in 2019.
YOVASO depends on grants and donations to produce this life-saving event. When COVID struck, all short and long-term fund-raising efforts came to a halt.
Members of the community can help by voting online for them to receive a $25,000 grant from State Farm to help keep teens safe on prom night through the After Prom Grand Finale.
YOVASO sponsors the After Prom Grand Finale Event at the end of the school year as an extra incentive for students in Southwest Virginia to attend and stay until the end of their school’s after-prom party. The 2020 prom season was cancelled, but in 2019, over 5,251 students from 40 high schools across Southwest Virginia made the safe choice to stay until the end of their after-prom party.
That is more than 5,251 teens who made it home safely to their families after one of the biggest and most dangerous nights of their young lives.
Estimates indicate over 85,000 lives have been saved in the last 31 years.
Once the After Prom Grand Finale Event is financially stable, YOVASO will spread it to other regions of Virginia to save even more lives.
To encourage participation in after-prom parties each year, First Team Auto donates a brand-new car to the winning student. (Because First Team donates the entire cost of the car, 100 percent of this grant will go toward making the After Prom Grand Finale Event financially stable.)
YOVASO Chair Sgt. Ryan Hilbish said, “In the past 31 years of the After Prom Grand Finale event, none of the participating schools have experienced the tragedy of a drug or alcohol-related driving accident on the night of their prom. This event saves lives.”
Starting Wednesday, Sept. 23 at 12 a.m. and running through Friday, Oct. 2, U.S. residents who are 18 and older with a valid email address can vote every day for the After Prom Grand Finale Event at VotePromParty.com.
Supporters can cast 10 votes at the same time each day. Daily voting reminders and leaderboard updates will be posted on the After Prom Grand Finale Facebook page.
If the YOVASO Advisory Board is chosen, they will receive the $25,000 grant in November.
The Virginian Review has been serving Covington, Clifton Forge, Alleghany County and Bath County since 1914.