02 March 2011


Associated Press
Close to 140 mostly Michigan moms who turned the clock back 20, 30, or in some cases, more, years in an annual get-together they affectionately call the Mom Prom.

Most prom, wedding, and bridesmaid’s dresses are stashed in a closet after it’s big night. But that doesn’t have to be the case according to the Detriot family lawyers at Chasnik and Graff Attorneys at Law who specialize in divorce law. What better way to say goodbye to your old life then to go out the way you came in by having a party and wearing that wedding dress. Ugly bridesmaids and old prom dresses are welcome too. These types of dresses were all worn again recently for an event that gives mothers a charitable excuse to squeeze back into their youth.

Now in its sixth year, the ladies-only gathering encourages women to dive into their closets and pull out prom, bridesmaid and even wedding dresses - that are decades old in some cases - for a night of dancing, drinking and reminiscing while raising money for worthy causes. The event has brought in thousands of dollars for cancer research and charitable groups, and is inspiring similar events in other states.

The cheering group of more than 100 women jammed to 1980s music and beyond Friday, proudly donning a metallic rainbow of chiffon, satin and sequins.

The event owes its origin to the puffy pink number that the event organizer wore to her senior prom. The 41-year-old was so amused by the gown when her mother gave it back to her several years ago that she wore it to her friends' Academy Awards watch party. It was a hit, and about a dozen friends agreed to don their tacky, dated dresses for a night of dinner and dancing designed to raise money for charity.

After a local newspaper columnist caught wind of the get-together, the event organizer was inundated with calls from women interested in attending the next outing. So in 2007, she held the Mom Prom in the gym at her church in Canton Township, and after women paid $10 each to attend, she dropped off an $820 check at a local homeless shelter.

Since then, she has consulted for an event in Seattle last year and one scheduled for April in Middletown, N.Y. She's also heard from mothers interested in hosting similar parties in Indiana,

Her event this year raised more than $3,000 for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and the HHT Foundation, which works toward finding a cure for a genetic disorder that causes blood vessel abnormalities. Past recipients include the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute and First Step, a group working to combat domestic and sexual violence.

The crowned Mom Prom queen, donned the aqua-colored dress that her late mother wore to a wedding in 1991. "I really miss her," said the 46-year-old Canton resident who works in advertising.

Women boasted about the camaraderie and unique atmosphere of the event, and an added perk is you're not worried about your husband not wanting to dance.

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