WRITTEN BY MEGIN POTTER PHOTOS BY BLACKBURN PORTRAIT DESIGN
The prom is traditionally filled with anxiety-inducing decisions beginning with whether to go, who to go with, and to what to wear.
The Mom Prom takes all that pressure away, creating an event for adults that high school proms could only dream of.
Of Proms Gone By
While many horror stories have emerged from the depths of high school prom experiences gone wrong, Gail Veitch actually liked both of the ones she went to.
“I really enjoyed my prom. I was going with someone I really cared for, and he cared for me,” she said. It was 1966, and she was going to the Saratoga Springs High School’s junior prom with the boy she’d been dating for six months.
The following year, she moved and went to prom, actually a senior ball in Oneonta. She wore the same dress, a long fitted pink and white lace gown. She went with the same boy, Michael Veitch, who is now her husband. While the Veitches once again live in Saratoga, Michael is not invited to accompany his wife to the Saratoga Mom Prom.
No men are.
When a group of seven female friends went to the first Mom Prom in the area, held in the basement of Proctor’s Theater, they had no idea they’d come out changed women.
“It was pouring rain. When we got out of the car, we were
up to our ankles in torrents of water. We had wet hair and it was still the best time of our lives,” said Veitch.
Dancing to good music and enjoying tasty foods, the women-only event encouraged tacky dress and sisterhood. There was the freedom to have fun, with proceeds going to
the Zonta Club, a women’s advocacy organization.
“We just laughed and laughed the whole night,” remembers Veitch. They immediately started planning to host a Mom Prom in Saratoga.
A New Tradition
Seventy-eight people attended the first Saratoga Mom Prom, held in 2012. Now, that number has swollen and been capped at 300, with tickets regularly selling out months in advance. While the number of people in attendance and the location has changed over the years, the central mood and purpose of the event has remained the same.
“It’s really a unique event. There’s no pressure, no competing, no criticizing. All that drops away. Everyone is there to have a good time. The sisterhood really comes out,” said Veitch.
To date, the Saratoga Mom Prom has raised $66,500 for local women’s and children’s charities. When founding member Susan Ingmire died, a scholarship fund in her name was developed.
“Suzi was the heart and soul, and the impetus of why we started this,” said Veitch. Last year, the $1,000 scholarship was awarded to Saratoga High School senior Madison DeGeorgio to advance her studies.
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