Sunday, February 25, 2018
News Roundup

2012 Pasco Anti-Prom will have 'retro chic' beat at Land O'Lakes Library

Imagine a prom event where the kids wear everything from T-shirts and jeans to formal finery, no one needs a date and everyone can have a good time — even if they're outside the "in crowd."

The fifth annual Anti-Prom, sponsored by the Friends of the Land O'Lakes Library and organized by the library's Teen Advisory Board, will be held Friday evening at the Land O'Lakes Library, 2818 Collier Parkway. And although this year's event has a "retro chic" theme that incorporates music and decorations from the 1960s and 1980s, guests do not have to dress according to these themes at this free event, which draws 100 to 160 Pasco students each year.

"They can attend in jeans if they want to," said Paul Stonebridge, teen services manager of the Pasco County Library System. "That's the whole point — here they do what they want."

The first event was held in 2008 as an alternative to the conventional high school prom, which can carry a hefty price tag.

"That was at the beginning of the economic downturn, and kids were telling us the prom was too expensive," he said. "Everyone was unhappy, so we decided to make our own dance."

As the concept developed, Stonebridge and members of the Teen Advisory Board found other ways to differentiate the Anti-Prom from more traditional student dances, including the introduction of unique themes such as the Zombie Anti-Prom and the Haunted Masquerade. And every year, an Anti-Prom King and Anti-Prom Queen are crowned.

"We all agreed that, at the prom, they play stupid music and the girls have to wear dresses," Stonebridge said. "At the Anti-Prom we have free cookies, plus punch spiked with Monster energy drink. And kids can bring their own music."

Also coordinating this year's Anti-Prom dance is Mandy Bacon, president of the Land O'Lakes Library Teen Advisory Board. The junior at Sunlake High School first became involved in the advisory board after attending the Anti-Valentine's Day dance at the Land O'Lakes branch three years ago.

"The first time that I met Paul Stonebridge, he approached a decoration table set up at the dance that featured a pink paper heart," said Bacon. "He said, 'Wait, this isn't right,' and tore the heart in half. That's when I knew that I was in the right place."

Bacon, 16, said the "anti" events are ideal for students who may not feel comfortable at typical teen social events.

"The Anti-Prom is for kids who feel ostracized at school, and who don't fit in at the prom," she said. "Maybe they feel bad if they can't find a date. Here they can come and hang out, even if they don't have any money. It's really fun."

This year's Anti-Prom will feature music from a live DJ and a new sound system made possible through a Library Services and Technology Act grant from the Florida Department of State Division of Library and Information Services (the music won't bother quiet-seeking patrons, as the library is otherwise closed at this hour).

There will be free snacks, picture-taking opportunities and a disco ball pinata. For a $5 charge, the teens can access a special room where they can eat pizza, play video games and get cans of energy drink.

All proceeds go to the Friends of the Land O'Lakes Library, who will put the money back into library programs.

"We want library events to be a community experience," said Stonebridge. "We offer many services and many different experiences. It's not just about books."

Comments
Police: Man, 60, arrested for fleeing from fatal Largo pedestrian crash

Police: Man, 60, arrested for fleeing from fatal Largo pedestrian crash

LARGO — A 60-year-old man who police said was the driver in a fatal pedestrian hit-and-run on East Bay Drive from three days prior was arrested by Largo Police on Saturday, the department said.Victor Bonavita was arrested on three charges in relation...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Sheriff: Roads reopen after Tampa crash results in natural gas leak near Citrus Park Mall

Sheriff: Roads reopen after Tampa crash results in natural gas leak near Citrus Park Mall

TAMPA — Officials reopened roads near Citrus Park Mall Saturday evening that had been closed in the afternoon for a natural gas leak caused by a car crash, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said. The Sheriff’s Office and Hillsborough County Fi...
Updated: 11 hours ago

boca ratonState lawmakerencourages Scott to remove sheriffA lawmaker is calling on Florida Gov. Rick Scott to remove Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel from office after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. In a letter sent to ...
Updated: 12 hours ago

Two airlinescut ties withNRA aftershootings

The National Rifle Association lashed out at corporations rushing to abandon it on Saturday, as companies from United Airlines to Best Western have cut ties with the gun lobby organization.Without context, twin announcements from Delta and United air...
Updated: 12 hours ago

‘Up to States’ to armteachers, Trump tweets

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump appeared Saturday to begin refining his proposals for combatting school violence, tweeting that arming teachers as a deterrent against such often deadly violence — an idea he championed in recent days — is "Up to S...
Published: 02/24/18
Security Council demands30-day cease-fire in Syria

Security Council demands30-day cease-fire in Syria

UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. Security Council unanimously approved a resolution Saturday demanding a 30-day cease-fire across Syria "without delay" to deliver humanitarian aid to millions and evacuate the critically ill and wounded. U.N. humanitarian ch...
Published: 02/24/18

Published: 02/24/18
Call her more than just a survivor

Call her more than just a survivor

TAMPA — On the quiet morning of Oct. 8, 2011, a 30-ton freight truck ran a stop sign in the small town of Clinton, Conn.It ran over Colleen Kelly Alexander, who was riding a bicycle.The truck's front wheels crushed her, then spit her to the bac...
Published: 02/24/18
Police: Male motorcyclist crashed, then the driver was run over by two cars

Police: Male motorcyclist crashed, then the driver was run over by two cars

TAMPA — A male motorcyclist died early Saturday morning on the Courtney Campbell Causeway, the Tampa Police Department said.About 1:35 a.m., the victim rode his motorcycle west on the Courtney Campbell at high speeds, police said. The motorcycle stru...
Published: 02/24/18
Northeast High alumnus Jon Mott wins 3rd Gasparilla 15K crown

Northeast High alumnus Jon Mott wins 3rd Gasparilla 15K crown

TAMPA — Roughly 20 minutes into Saturday morning's Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic 15K, reigning champ A.J. Richmond glanced over his left shoulder to former college teammate Jon Mott and flashed a quick hand signal."He was telling me that t...
Published: 02/24/18