It is spring time and that means it is once again time for high school proms across the nation.

Stone Memorial High School will host its prom this weekend, while Cumberland County High School's is slated for the first weekend in May. Although proms are indicative of beautiful girls in pretty dresses, handsome young men in tuxedos and lots of music and food, they can also be very dangerous nights for our teenagers.

Unfortunately, each year teenagers lives are lost from drinking and driving on prom night. Cumberland County has fared much better thanks to the efforts of numerous local individuals and organizations who conduct a Mock DUI each year days before the local proms. Students at SMHS will view the Mock DUI and subsequent Prom Promise event on Thursday. CCHS students will participate the following Thursday prior to their prom. Fred Sherrill of the city police department is coordinating this year's Mock DUI in conjunction with the city fire department, EMS, Cumberland County Health Department and the Teens Against Drugs (TAD) Center. After students hear from the guest speakers and view the mock DUI scene, they will be given the opportunity to sign a Prom Promise Pledge not to drink and drive on Prom Night. Students signing the pledge will receive a box of Smarties candy with the reminder, "Smarties don't drink and drive," compliments of the TAD Center. Each pledge signer will be entered into a drawing for $50 in cash to help with prom expenses.

Parents of prom-goers can also help deter accidents by making sure you know where your child is going after prom by offering a limo or adult driver and by limiting the number of prom-goers in one vehicle.

The following tips are for teens: always wear your safety belt, concentrate and drive offensively, never allow anyone who may have had something to drink drive (that also goes for tired drivers), don't be afraid to call an adult if something spirals out of control, make sure you have a cell phone handy in the event of an emergency and observe the speed limits.

Stone's prom will be held Saturday night at the high school off Genesis Rd. It will begin at 7 p.m. and last until 11 p.m. So don't be surprised if you are out and about Saturday night and see lots of really dressed up young people at dinner!


Speaking of Saturday night, while the young people are at prom, the rest of us have a great opportunity to visit Main St. as the first of several classic car cruise-ins drive onto Main St. Organizers say the cruise-in will feature food, entertainment, prizes and lots of good-looking classic cars. The lovely and talented recording artist Carrie Hassler and her band, Hard Rain, are also scheduled for this cruise-in kickoff. Cruise-ins are scheduled for the fourth Saturday of each month, beginning this weekend and ending in October. If you need more information, call organizers Linda Hassler at 200-8097 or Anna Norris at 248-5710. The action is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.


Carmen Kington, executive director of the Avalon Center, is inviting everyone to join the center in observing April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month this Friday, April 24, from 6 to 9 a.m. by picking up your free coffee and donuts. Just drive through the West Ave. Laundry Express at 817 West Ave. and get your coffee and donuts. Feel free to donate some loose change at the window and help Avalon fight domestic violence!