NCHS Post Prom 2024: Q&A


Enjoying Games at 2017 Post Prom

One of New Canaan High School’s most celebrated events, the Post Prom at Waveny House, is marking a major milestone this year with its 65th anniversary. We put some questions about the widely anticipated party to Susan Gelvin (NCHS ‘92), fundraising co-chair for Post Prom 2024.

Here’s our exchange.

New Canaanite: Tell us a little bit about the history of the New Canaan High School Post Prom? 

2014 Party goers

Susan Gelvin: This time honored New Canaan tradition–and the highlight of most NCHS students’ experience–is celebrating its 65th anniversary. The Post Prom provides a safe, fun and memorable night for the entire graduating class, while delivering nonstop entertainment, games, food and raffles from midnight until 4am.

The first “Dance-After-the Dance” was held at the Country Club of New Canaan in 1959 from 1 to 7am (talk about stamina!), after a group of NCHS senior parents formed a committee and organized an all-night Senior Prom after-party. And from there, a tradition was born!

While the prom itself has bounced around from venue to venue over the years, the Post Prom found a fitting home at Waveny House over 50 years ago and the event has been there ever since.

What percentage of seniors attend Post Prom, generally? What is the event’s main appeal, in your view?

Seniors watching tribute video together at 3:30am

Nearly every senior attends Post Prom–it’s truly a celebration that no one wants to miss. The event is free of charge and all seniors are welcome, whether they attend the prom or not. Approximately 95% of the class shows up to Post Prom, ready for fun, food and festivities.

From the seniors’ perspective, Post Prom is an event that is entirely catered to them and each student feels like the guest of honor! Also, it’s one final opportunity for the class to celebrate together at an all-night (parent-approved, parent-planned) party.

As a parent, I’m looking forward to seeing these seniors unwind from a stressful year and enjoy all the fun that we have in store for them. After the pandemic wiped out their 8th grade promotion and class dance, Post Prom is a chance to make up for lost opportunities to celebrate the Class of ‘24 as a whole. With the support from the community and the hard work of parent volunteers, it’s heartwarming to see how everyone is coming together to embrace our seniors. 

What goes into Post Prom planning that people may not be aware of?

2017 Prom Goers with caricature artist

Honestly, it’s impressive…and daunting. The Post Prom committee is made up of 25 senior parents, who have been the “go-to’s” and MVPs of organizing school events since elementary school. They are seasoned, passionate and Type-A! Spending hundreds of hours planning, prepping and fundraising, the committee meets throughout the school year to plan the event that takes place in May. It’s a big commitment, but everyone generously donates their time and talents to get the job done. 

An additional 100+ parents volunteer work shifts throughout “event night” to make this party safe and possible. From a talented decorating crew to teams of security, food servers, check-in/check-out personnel, games and entertainment support…and more, it is a massive (and magical) undertaking…not to mention, an operational feat!

Each year, the party’s theme remains top secret until it’s revealed as seniors arrive at the event. Waveny is completely transformed according to that class’ theme and it’s carried throughout the night.

How is Post Prom paid for?

Waveny Grand Ballroom transformed for “2023 Takes Flight”

Post Prom is primarily funded through corporate sponsorships, parent donations and generous contributions from local businesses. The event is made possible by leveraging the support within our community that places value in the tradition of providing a safe and meaningful celebration for graduating seniors. The Post Prom Committee has a dedicated fundraising team that works to procure sponsorships and parent donations to help raise the funds needed annually.

Additionally, RamJam is held annually to help support Post Prom. It’s the only music fashion festival in town where seniors take the NCHS stage to model the latest prom fashions and help raise funds. Performances by senior bands and dance groups take the event to another level. All members of the community are invited to attend on Friday, March 22.  Click here for tickets.

This year, in honor of the 65th anniversary and as a fun way to raise money, NCHS parents have been posting photos of their own senior prom on social media. This campaign has been a fun throwback to some really great (and questionable) 80s and 90s fashion and hairstyles, and is helping raise needed funds for this year’s event.

Donations to this year’s Post Prom event can be made here.

To inquire into corporate sponsorship, click here.

What, if anything, can you tell us about this year’s Post Prom?

There’s a lot I could share; however, keeping the details and the theme closely guarded secrets help build excitement for the big night! I can’t spoil the surprise…but, I can share that the committee has a really fun theme planned and we are refreshing and changing some of the entertainment options for this year’s event. 

Our small army of parent volunteers is committed to making Post Prom a night to remember for every senior and a celebration that will live up to 65 years worth of hype!

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