By JEFF MEYERS
---- — PLATTSBURGH — Junior prom is one of the most recognizable traditions in a person’s high-school career.
Little compares to the excitement in those weeks leading up to the prom and the memories generated from the night of festivities.
Katlyn Jenkins, a senior at Saranac High School, is one of several area residents who have been organizing the Purple Prom fundraiser to support the FitzPatrick Cancer Center in Plattsburgh and people across the region who are battling a cancer diagnosis.
“Everybody knows somebody who has cancer or who has been affected by cancer,” said Jenkins’s sister, Audrey Reynolds, who is also working toward hosting the event at 7 p.m. Friday, April 26, at West Side Ballroom on the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base.
“I thought this (an organized prom) would be a great benefit to help raise funds for the Cancer Center,” she added.
Reynolds has graduated from Saranac High School but was admittedly jealous that her younger sister was able to attend junior prom last spring.
“This is a chance for adults to come in and enjoy that same (prom-like) atmosphere while giving to a good cause,” she said.
Appetizers and desserts will be available at the party, and music will be provided by local disc jockey EJ DJ.
“It’s a chance for people (who may be battling cancer) to come out and meet others who are going through the same thing,” said Eric Jock, who is EJ DJ and also Jenkins’s boyfriend. “It’s a chance to help those people forget about their illness.”
Although the event is open to all adults, Jock emphasized how special it could be for cancer victims and survivors.
In fact, organizers would like to choose their Prom Court from the people who are directly impacted by cancer diagnoses.
Jock, who is also a professional photographer, will have his work for sale at the prom, with half of the proceeds from those sales going to the FitzPatrick Cancer Center, located on the CVPH Medical Center campus.
People can also access Jock’s website, www.ericjock.com, to view and purchase photographs, with a percentage of those sales also going to the Cancer Center.
Reynolds and Jenkins said they were both fortunate that cancer has not affected their immediate families, but Reynolds recently lost a friend to cancer, and Jenkins knows of a schoolmate who was recently diagnosed.
Two members of the Purple Prom organizing committee, Diane Higgins and Jana Lee Cummings, are also breast-cancer survivors, they noted.
“Cancer doesn’t discriminate,” Reynolds said. “It affects anyone.”
The group chose Purple Prom to use the color purple, which symbolizes the fight against cancers of all types.
Formal attire is not necessary to participate in the prom, the trio noted. Some people may be wearing suits and dresses while others may show up in khakis and a pullover, Reynolds said.
“We just want everyone to have fun.”
The event is $50 per couple and will also include a prize raffle. The Cancer Survivor Prom Court will also be named. Jock’s photographs are on display at 6 p.m. Organizers will arrive several hours earlier to decorate the ballroom.
The fundraiser is sponsored by Plattsburgh Memorials, Crawford Door and Window Sales, Photograpy by Eric, AH Mazing Events and Garvey Hyundai.
Email Jeff Meyers:email@example.comIF YOU GO Purple Prom, a fundraiser for the FitzPatrick Cancer Center, will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, April 26, at West Side Ballroom, 253 New York Road, Plattsburgh. Tickets are $50 per couple, and the price includes appetizers and desserts. A cash bar will also be available. To purchase tickets, contact Audrey Reynolds at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit Garvey Hyundai or Kneucraft Jewelers.