Dressed to the nines, walking the “pink” carpet, cameras flashing and dancing the night away for a great cause, Pink Prom 2012 was a huge success. From the moment attendees arrived, they were treated like Hollywood royalty. The Gillespie went all out; white tables adorned the dance floor, accented with a single pink rose as centerpieces. Pink lights cast a beautiful glow creating a great atmosphere, reminding everyone why they were there. DJ Ryan Coxx and DJ Prism kept the dance floor full with the perfect blend of classic 90’s pop and current hits.
As I walked in, I could easily tell that everyone in the room was as equally excited as I was. The underlying current of enthusiasm and anticipation was almost tangible. The mood was ecstatic, the energy was pulsating.
Over 500 tickets were sold, exceeding planners Joey Wagner and Jason Brown’s initial expectations. Their original goal for Pink Prom was to make around $5,000. By the end of the night, they cut a check to Susan G. Komen for $11,350. Considering it’s their first year, and they more than doubled their goal, this first annual Pink Prom is setting the bar high for future events.
The highlight of the night was Wagner and Brown presenting the first Pink Prom Ambassador to the crowd; Jill Conley. She began her speech by trying to tell a little about herself; however, the crowd was in party mode and at times interrupted her well thought out speech. But Jill was not disheveled, she threw her speech, that she had spent hours on, into the air and spoke straight from the heart. The crowd ate it up. Jill herself is a breast cancer survivor. Born and raised in Michigan, She later moved to Las Vegas where she met her husband Bart and eventually they moved to Louisville. She was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer 2 years ago, underwent 16 rounds of chemo, 31 radiation treatments, 4 surgeries and eventually a double mastectomy. After a hard fought battle, Jill’s cancer was in remission.
Standing on stage Friday night, looking stunning, with her head held high; Jill delivered a speech that inspired the whole crowd. But her story is far from over, 7 months ago Jill went back to the doctor for what she thought was a broken rib. She received news that although she beat her breast cancer battle, Jill is now facing an even harder fight, incurable bone cancer. She has been given 8 years to live. But looking at her on stage, hearing her story and seeing her determination to not give up, proves how strong of a woman she is. Jill’s goal through her story is to educate women about breast cancer. In honor of her, a documentary entitled “Jill’s Story”, about her life was shot in Paris, France by famous photographer Sue Bryce; it has not yet been released.
Jill’s story was a recap as to why everyone was at Pink Prom on Friday night. We remember that we have yet to find a cure for a disease that claims thousands of women’s lives every year. Pink Prom was a perfect example of how the community can get together and raise money, in a different, yet fun way. It was a charity event without the usual stuffy, formal, boring feel. Setting Pink Prom in October, which is breast cancer awareness month, was ideal timing.
Anyone who missed out this year, no worries, Pink Prom will be back next year! I highly encourage any and every one to attend. It is not only a great cause, but also a great way to relive your prom memories. Whether you go single with a group of friends or take a date, you are guaranteed to have a memorable night.
The after party was at Mosaic Nightclub on 4Th Street Live! Just a short walk or cab ride away from The Gillespie. Pink Prom ended at 1 am but guests could head to Mosaic to continue the party until 4 am.
With the bar set this high, my hopes for next year are almost outrageous. Pink Prom, although in its first year, has proven itself to be a “must-go” event. I look forward to next year’s event with high optimisms and huge expectations. Brown and Wagner did a phenomenal job and should be riding this high for quite some time. But now that I’ve worn my prom dress, what will I wear for next year? Good thing I’ve got awhile to think about it!