Local business owner Stephanie Williams has partnered with other local business and community leaders in the Bryan County area and just beyond to plan a benefit that is certain to be an overwhelming success and quite possibly lead to an annual event each fall.
Williams, who is the owner of Generations Boutique in downtown Durant says that while she and friends Jackie Wallace, Eilleen Meadows and Monica Partain were involved in a recent conversation about the rise in popularity of community “Proms” that have seen huge success among the middle age and slightly older generations in cities across the country. The events offer attendees a chance to return to the golden days of youth for just one night to celebrate magical memories while giving others the opportunity to finally attend the Prom they might have had to miss as a high school student. Williams says that after a little discussion, it was quickly decided that if the event was going to take place, it must be brought to fruition not only as just an evening of nostalgic fun, but also must be representative of a higher purpose. The Women’s Crisis Center in Durant was soon chosen as the intended beneficiary of the evening’s proceeds and from that point forward, it didn’t take long before the idea began to gain speed and move quickly. Committee members have now selected a name, Living Behind the Mask, and have also already met for two planning meetings and the date for the event set for October 28th. The venue selected for the black-tie affair is the Choctaw Event Center.
Williams says that her business has been a supporter of the crisis center now for several years and working with the Center Director, Norita Walker was just a natural fit when deciding what organization could benefit from the Prom. Walker, a 29 year veteran at the center says that this event, combined with other donations and awarded grants, will provide funds to support area shelters, to help one center with remodeling and landscaping efforts and will provide playground equipment for the center’s children. The crisis center currently provides needed assistance to women and children who have been victims of domestic violence and the agency covers the needs and assists with crisis control within four local counties including Bryan County.
Williams says although the Prom is still in the planning stages, more and more volunteers across the community are stepping up to volunteer to insure an overwhelming success for the event, and ultimately the Crisis Center. The committee now consists of over 30 members but Williams says there is plenty of room for more, anytime anyone who would like to help in whatever capacity is welcome to do so.
Those who wish to volunteer or participate are encouraged to locate the group known as “Living Behind the Mask” on FaceBook and click the like button. Further information can be found there as it becomes available and the date for the Prom approaches. Residents are also encouraged to watch for media coverage and signage to be posted at area businesses where tickets will be available closer to the date of the event.
For further information regarding the centers and the services provided, please contact Norita Walker at 580-924-3030.
Maria Mooore-Kass-Special to the Democrat