Take a trip to yesterday by attending the Tybee Prom.

The event, set for July 13, will be a night of dancing and fun to benefit the Humane Society for Greater Savannah's planned low-cost spay/neuter clinic. A special appearance will be made by Randy "Elvis" Walker, an Elvis tribute artist from Jacksonville, Fla.

"It's a fundraiser for the Humane Society's low-cost spay/neuter clinic," says Shirley Sessions, president of the board of the Humane Society for Greater Savannah.

"It's an event that's been going on and off on Tybee for several years, although it's been a couple of years since we've had it."

There's a little something for everyone at this prom.

"It's for everyone who went to their prom and hated it or didn't go to the prom and has decided they want to," Sessions says. "They can come dressed in any prom period from any decade.

"Since it's Tybee formal, pretty much anything goes, from tuxes and shorts and flipflops to '70s shirts," she says. "This year's theme is 'Bling,' so we encourage everyone to be blingy."

Walker's appearance will bring out the hound dog in everyone.

"He's a wonderful Elvis impersonator," Sessions says. "He is so much fun and really acts the part.

"We'll also have the singing group Girlfriends, who do beautiful three-part harmony," she says. "They dance and sing and do music like the classic girl groups of the '40s, '50s and '60s."

Prom photos will be taken by Wen McNally throughout the event and later posted online. There also will be a couple of raffle drawings.

"For the first, you don't have to be present to win, but the winner will receive a two-night Tybee stay and a year-round parking pass and a couple of gift certificates from restaurants and other Tybee goodies," Sessions says.

The total package is valued at $450. Raffle tickets are two for $5 or five for $10.

"There's another raffle and you do have be present to win," Sessions says. "It's a crown, a very blingy 12-inch crown that says 'Best of Show.' Either a man or woman can win, but I think it's going to look better on a female."

Even Fido and Fluffy can have a prom souvenir.

"Someone has donated some fabulous, very, very festive, showy dog and cat leashes," Sessions says. "We will have them available for purchase to take home to a cat and dog."

Typical prom treats will be served, and there will be a cash bar. "The crown winner will be announced at 10:30 p.m.," Sessions says. "The crown is fabulous. We usually have a winner for Best Dressed and also Best Dancer."

Tickets can be purchased online at www.tybeefun.com.

"The website has all the information about the prom as well as information about why it's import to spay and neuter pets," Sessions says.

"One of the problems we have right now at the Humane Society and other animal welfare groups is overpopulation," she says. "People can't afford to have their pets neutered or spayed.

"Consequently, they dump them," Sessions says. "It's healthier for animals to be spayed or neutered for several different types of health reasons."

Both cats and dogs should be neutered. "For some reason, people think it's okay to dump cats, that they can find their own homes, but it's just the opposite," Sessions says. "Consequently, they produce feral cats and it becomes an issue because so many animals out there are not wanted."

Altered pets live longer and are easier to train. "The majority of serious dog bites are from unaltered male dogs," Sessions says.

"Animals that are not spayed or neutered have a higher possibility of reproductive cancers," she says. "I encourage people who have any doubts to talk to their veterinarian about the benefits of spaying and neutering."

Session's sister, Sandy McCloud, is an animal activist and member of the group Girlfriends, which will perform at the prom.

"We started the prom 10 years ago," she says. "We also started the Tybee Save the Animals Sock Hop, which raised $40,000. We're trying to educate people and help them understand the value of spaying and neutering.

"Some people would be more willing to do it if the cost weren't so prohibitive for some people," McCloud says.

The problems of animal abandonment and overpopulation have increased.

"Animals aren't always the priority when someone is losing their house or their job," McCloud says. McCloud learned personally how expensive spaying and neutering can be when she rescued an abandoned kitten last year.

"She's fine now, but when I went to have her fixed, I was really shocked at the cost," she says. "For people who have families, it can be a big expense."

All proceeds of the Tybee Prom will go toward establishing the low-cost spay/neuter clinic.

"This gives you a great excuse to go to the thrift store and get a favorite prom dress," McCloud says. "We always have a good time."


What: The Tybee Prom

When: 7-11 p.m. July 13

Where: American Legion, 10 Veterans Drive, Tybee Island

Cost: $20

Info: www.tybeefun.com; Shirley Sessions, 912-695-0724; Sandy McCloud, 912-484-7355; tickets also are available at Tybean Art and Coffee Bar, 1213 U.S. 80 East, Tybee Island, and the Humane Society's Pick of the Litter Thrift Shop, 7215 Sallie Mood Drive, Savannah