After the prom comes the dawn


Delirious Oceanside High School students, fresh from their prom and graduation, left Warehouse 5 in Island Park in the wee hours of the morning of June 29, carrying an odd assortment of things.

Some were holding iPods, sound systems or televisions. One girl even walked away with the keys to a brand new car.

The students were gathered for Dawn Delirium, the post-prom party sponsored by the OHS PTA, now in its 20th year. The party goes from midnight until 5 a.m. and aims to keep kids from partaking in the “typical” post-prom activities—going out and drinking.

Instead, students party in a supervised environment and are encouraged to stay by the raffling of prizes, the biggest each year being a brand new car, which is the last prize to be raffled off. This year, Lindsay Gordon won a black 2010 Nissan Versa four-door sedan.

“It was great,” said Debbie Cohen, on of the event’s PTA organizers. “From what I heard, the kids had a great time. We raffled off 82 prizes plus a car.”

All the money for Dawn Delirium comes from fundraising—the majority of which is earned at the annual Dawn Delirium Fashion Show. The organizers also get donations from local business and community members, and each school’s PTA donates money to the cause. “The high school PTA and the Kindergarten Center PTA each contributed $1,000, and all the other PTAs contributed $500 each,” Cohen said.

There was a good turnout this year for the event. About 520 students pre-registered, and more showed up at the door. In all, Cohen estimates that there were around 600 kids at this year’s Dawn Delirium.

Recently, other school districts have reached out to Oceanside to find out about Dawn Delirium.

“There were a couple of representatives there last night from one school, just checking it out,” said Cohen. “So they really came down to see our setup and how we do it. A lot of them call us, and they want to basically know how the heck we can raffle off a car.”

In the end, the prizes, especially the new car, are just incentives to keep the kids safe and supervised after prom.

“It takes everyone,” said Cohen. “We get a lot of support from the district. They run prom, we run Dawn Delirium, but we have district personnel at Dawn Delirium with us. We work together on security and safety of the kids.”

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