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Tybee Prom raises money for Islands Feral Cat Project

  • Courtesy Shirley Sessions/Tybee Prom
  • Courtesy Shirley Sessions/Tybee Prom
  • Courtesy Shirley Sessions/Tybee Prom
  • Spotted file photo
  • Courtesy Shirley Sessions/Tybee Prom
 

Tybee Prom raises money for Islands Feral Cat Project

04 Jul 2017

The Tybee Prom has evolved over the years.

“At the time it started, we raised money for Tybee beautification,” says Shirley Sessions, one of the prom’s organizers. “Then we raised money for the Humane Society. Last year and this year, we decided to focus on the Islands Feral Cat Project.

“We want to get out awareness that all animals need to be neutered to help cut down on the pet population. So many people think cats are disposable.

“There are even family pet cats that people abandon,” she says. “We have seen that happen more than we’d like to. People who don’t understand continue to allow their cats to have kittens.”

Tybee has so many feral cats, some have clustered into colonies.

“If they’re lucky, they get into a colony where someone is feeding them,” Sessions says. “The Islands Feral Cat Project sets traps to catch the cats, which are spayed or neutered.

“After they’ve been fixed, they put them back into the colony and people continue to feed them,” she says. “I love them because they’ve cut down the rodent population, but they are probably the most euthanized animal annually in most counties because of overpopulation.”

The prom is a fun way to raise money for the cause.

“The Tybee Prom truly is so much fun,” Sessions says. “On Tybee, there are not a lot of places to dance.

“The American Legion has a good dance floor. You can dress in your formal finery or your Tybee finery, however you choose to define that.

“People do get dressed up or go to Goodwill to buy funky evening wear,” she says. “Some people can still fit into the prom gown they wore at 18. The men sometimes dress up in black tie, but also black tie with shorts.”

Two bands will play dance music throughout the evening. At 7 p.m., a six-piece band, Sassy Cats and the Toms, will perform, followed by The Girlfriends, who do music from the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s.

There will be food available, plus a cash bar. Raffle tickets will be sold to select the prom’s king and queen.

“Each year, the crown goes in hand with hand with the theme,” Sessions says. “This year’s crown will be red crystal for both the king and queen.

“The former king and queen draw the raffle tickets and crown the new king and queen,” she says. “We also have a Tybee award for most original, funky or fabulous outfit. It’s kind of like an Oscar statue.”

Not everyone who attends is from Tybee.

“We have people come down from Beaufort and Bluffton to attend the Tybee Prom,” Sessions says. “One day, I got a call. ‘I live in Liberty County. Can I come to the Tybee Prom?’ Yes, you can!”

Because of the bar, admission is limited to ages 18 and older. And although the prom raises money for animals, pets are not allowed.

Tickets are available at Seaside Sisters, 1207 U.S. 80 on Tybee Island, or online at tybeeprom.com. Organizers advise purchasing passes ahead of time.

A photographer will be on hand, and the room will be decorated in true prom style.

“Just dress to dance. It’s a chance to just chill out,” Sessions says.

“This year, there will be a lot of red and black. You’ll feel like you’ve been transported back to the prom you didn’t attend, didn’t want to attend, or did attend and want to live over.

“It’s a great night of dancing, music and food,” she says. “It’s just a night of fun and festivities.”

IF YOU GO

What: Tybee Prom

When: 7-11 p.m. July 8

Where: Tybee Island American Legion, 10 Veterans Drive

Cost: $30

Info: tybeeprom.com, 912-786-0786, 912-484-7355, islandsferalcatproject.org

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