Parents and community members were treated to a special preview of this year’s surprise prom theme, The Royal Manor, just hours before the graduating Port Jeff seniors celebrated their prom on Tuesday, June 28.
After 10 months of planning and secrecy, the Port Jeff prom committee finally unveiled its spooky creations. From the lobby to the ballroom to the bathroom stalls, every inch of The Meadow Club was tied together into this year’s theme. Randi DeWitt, trustee of the Port Jefferson board of education and member of the prom committee, detailed how these plans came together.
At the beginning of the school year, the executive board of the prom committee made the difficult decision to move the annual prom from its regular venue, the high school, to The Meadow Club in Port Jefferson Station.
“Everything used to be at the school, but because of COVID — because of that mandate at the beginning of the year — when we sat together as an exec board for the prom, we had to make the decision of where we were going to have it,” DeWitt said. “We decided to have it here at The Meadow Club because there wouldn’t be a mask mandate. We wanted to bring the theme here, which they graciously allowed us to do.”
The committee put together several unique interior designs throughout the banquet space. Part of the prom tradition is that guests are welcomed to a large foyer area. Each student had his or her own mailbox, where parents and visitors could leave special handwritten notes.
“This area we’re very proud of,” DeWitt said. “Every student has a book and it’s a tradition that the parents and other people come and leave messages for the kids.”
Another custom is the intricate decoration of the bathrooms. Both bathrooms contained elaborate displays that featured unique wallpaper, props and even digital audio to create an ambiance of both fun and fright. “This is a big tradition, the bathrooms, because they just get totally transformed,” DeWitt said.
She described the sense of relief and accomplishment that the committee felt after nearly a year of preparations came to fruition. For her, the event represents the culmination of effort, ingenuity and love on the part of committee members, parents and other volunteers.
“We had to raise an insane amount of money to pull this off and we did,” DeWitt said. “This is the culmination and it’s great because we know the kids will have so much fun.” She added, “That’s really why we do this — we do it for the kids.”