Being a mom is hard work. Taking care of one child or multiple children can be overwhelming and exhausting - whether you work full time or not. So what's a mom to do when she needs some time away from the house?
Luckily, a group of local women have organized the first Williamsport Mom Prom, a ladies night out that promises a great time - all to benefit a worthy cause.
To celebrate National Mom Prom Night on Saturday, the event will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Genetti Hotel's Grand Ballroom, 200 W. Fourth St., and all proceeds will benefit the Beacon Hub Drop-In Center, 400 Lycoming St., Suite 1, inside the William Hepburn Apartment Complex.
DANA BRIGANDI/Sun-Gazette Correspondent
Above, from left are Mom Prom organizers Jillian Park, Christina Staccone and Casey Packer, shown with some of their old prom gowns, formal gowns and bridesmaid dresses. At right, Debbie Eichenlaub shows off her Mom Prom tickets. Eichenlaub, a resident of the William Hepburn Apartments, plans on attending with her daughters and mother.
The event was organized by three women - Jillian Park, Casey Packer and Christina Staccone - who were looking for a way to raise funds for the Beacon Hub Drop-In Center. Park is a psychiatric rehabilitation specialist for Skills of Central Pennsylvania, which operates the center, and she works closely with Staccone, who runs the local operation. Park also enlisted the help of her longtime friend Packer, the sales and event coordinator at the Genetti. Packer was instrumental in getting the location space donated for the cause.
"Mr. G. likes to give back to the community," Packer said. "And Jillian is the type of person you don't say no to."
The Beacon Hub Drop-In Center promotes recovery, community inclusion and independence through self-determination, education and consumer-run programming for members with a mental health diagnosis.
Park said that since moving from the Pajama Factory to its current location in January, the Beacon Hub is only being funded on a part-time basis, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekdays.
According to Staccone, the Beacon Hub is a safe place where people ages 18 and older who reside in Lycoming and Clinton counties can go if they have cognitive disabilities and mental health issues. It is a place where they can socialize with their peers, get support, watch television, play Wii or computer games, or try karaoke.
On Fridays, the facility offers lunch for a nominal cost, which usually draws a large crowd. The Beacon Hub staff believe that all people can recover to the degree that they feel comfortable and support this journey of happiness, understanding and hope.
The women were brainstorming ways to raise funds for the Beacon Hub when they discovered the national Mom Prom organization and realized no Mom Proms had been scheduled for the Williamsport area. Although there are several Mom Proms throughout the state, the nearest one is in Lock Haven.
So the women seized the opportunity to bring the event to Lycoming County.
The national Mom Prom was created in 2006 in Canton, Mich., with the goal of "changing the world, ladies, one prom at a time."
Park hopes women will bring their friends and wear old prom gowns, bridesmaids' dresses or wedding gowns - anything for a laugh.
"This is a real prom with a DJ, dancing, contests and lots of fun," she said. "It will be a wonderful, hilarious night in which you can dance the night away, have fun with friends and help a worthy cause."
Although prom gowns are recommended, Park said women can wear casual clothes, too. The goal is to raise money for the charity and have a good time.
Park said she and Packer are hoping to have a fun night away from their kids: Park has two children ages 6 and 3 and Packer has a 10-year-old son.
Resident of William Hepburn Apartments, Debbie Eichenlaub, recently was at the Beacon Hub.
She already had purchased tickets to attend with daughters, Desiree Castle and Deanna Morey, and her mother, Norma Duttry.
Tickets are available at the Genetti Hotel, 200 W. Fourth St.; Robert M. Sides Family Music Center, 201 Mulberry St.; and the Beacon Hub, 400 Lycoming St., Suite 1.
Because there will be a cash bar, the event is only for women ages 21 and older.
For more information or to become a sponsor, email williams firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information about the Beacon Hub Drop-In Center may be found at www.skillsofcentralpa.org.