A new venue and a new year has Cardinal Mooney prom-goers throwing money around like it’s Vegas.
That’s because it is.
Cardinal Mooney sophomores, juniors and seniors will sit at Blackjack tables and drink python punch in an informal club setting at the school’s “Old School Vegas”-themed prom 7:30 p.m. April 27, at Polo Grill and Bar.
According to seniors, students will come to Polo Grill, the fourth different venue to host Cardinal Mooney’s prom, dressed in more expensive dresses — mature, neutral, sequined dresses, to be specific.
“You’re seeing girls spending more money on dresses,” said Sam Spano, a Cardinal Mooney senior. “But, you’re also seeing girls wanting to wear their hair down, not up with fancy extensions.”
To pay for this year’s prom, a team of juniors came up with fundraising ideas that paid for one-third of the event’s cost.
For example, students designed and sold lanyards and held raffles.
Christa Naylor, a Cardinal Mooney media specialist in her fourth year sponsoring prom, says money to pay for the event also came from “Dress Down Days” at school, during which students exchanged their khaki-and-polo uniforms for blue jeans on Fridays.
Students had to pay $3 before a given “dress-down day,” or $5 the same day.
Last year, the Hyatt Regency hosted Cardinal Mooney’s prom. A team of the juniors looked at six venues last summer before settling on The Polo Grill and Bar as a new location.
Polo Grill will offer buffet-style food with a pasta station, hors d’oeurves and a “cake therapy” station.
Prom-goers also can drink python punch or a glass of cougar cosmo at an under-21, non-alcoholic bar.
Limos will not be provided, and Naylor encourages car-pooling.
Other standard prom procedures include the anointing of the prom court and “group fun photos.”
“It’s not just a formal, traditional prom event,” Naylor said. “There will be activities beyond dancing.”
More activity comes in the weeks before prom, during the date-asking and outfit-searching process.
For seniors, many attending their third prom, the last go-around requires more effort — and more sophistication.
“There will be gems and sequins,” Spano said. “There will be mermaid-style dresses. There will be nothing poofy. The dresses are neutral-colored. No wedges on shoes is a given. It’s different being a senior; it’s a lot of work, but it’s exciting.”
Prom costs $70 and will run until 11 p.m. — early by Vegas standards.