The Cherry Hill library is preparing for its first mom prom dance party on Friday, March 1, a ladies night out fundraiser for the facility.
The event is not just for moms, but all women-identifying participants, including pet moms, aunts, nieces, sisters and friends. It will take place from 7 to 10 p.m. in the library reading room.
Meredith Meyer, fundraising and marketing coordinator for the library, first heard of the idea on social media and wanted to bring it to Cherry Hill.
“I live in Cherry Hill, and I always see people posting in local Facebook groups like, they don’t want to go into Philly but there’s not many other places to go dancing, and so it was kind of a good combination of get some good time with friends and just have somewhere to go,” she said.
Although a first for the township, the idea for Mom Prom originated with Betsy Crapps, a Michigan resident, when she and a friend decided to wear their old prom dresses to a friend’s Oscar award party in 2005. Though they would usually wear sweats or pajamas, the two showed up in their old prom dresses. That inspired another outing with about 12 others who went to a restaurant with their former prom outfits.
“I chose a restaurant,” Crapps recalled. “Most of us were wearing prom dresses from 1980s. We kind of stood out. We even had strangers ask to take pictures with us. We went to dinner, we went dancing and our faces hurt from laughing so hard, we had so much fun.
“It was such a great night.”
That sparked the mom dance idea and one year later, in 2006, Crapps held the first mom prom at a Canton, Michigan, church. Tickets were $10 per ticket and the event raised about $800 for a local homeless shelter. Since then, the tradition has continued and grown. The story was picked up by the Associated Press and things went viral in 2011. Prior to the pandemic, Crapps said there were at least 130 mom proms happening around the country.
Mom proms aren’t all the same across the country. Some have themes, some donate to the same charity over and over again and others rotate on an annual basis. In Cherry Hill, there will be dancing, prizes, giveaways, wine/mocktails and desserts. There is no set theme, but the event is for those 21 and over.
One of the conditions for using the trademarked words mom prom is that funds raised must be for charity.
” … It can’t be personal benefit,” Crapps explained. “It’s intended to be for a good reason. It brings me so much joy to see women doing something fun and doing things for a good cause.”
Attendees must register for the event in advance at the chplnj.org website.
To learn more about holding a mom prom, visit https://www.momprom.org.
For questions about the library’s event, email Meredith Meyer at email@example.com or call (856) 903 -1234