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‘Prom Night’ event to benefit Believe in Tomorrow org.

(Jan. 24, 2014) Grab your tux or gown and get ready for the inaugural “Prom Night” fundraiser for the Believe in Tomorrow Children’s Foundation in West Ocean City on Saturday, Feb. 8.

Tickets are selling fast for the event, where business casual is the dress code, but formal attire is also welcomed. It runs from 7 p.m. to close at Hooters on Route 50 and includes a buffet with a carving station, silent auction and prom court chosen by participants.

“We were trying to think outside the box a little bit,” said Wayne Littleton, coordinator for the Believe in Tomorrow Children’s Foundation Beach Respite Housing Program. Finally, he landed on the prom-themed event.

“Hopefully we’re going to do well with it,” he said.

Prom Night will raise money for a new heating and cooling system at the 66th Street house, where the Believe in Tomorrow Foundation provides critically ill children and their families a much-needed retreat to the beach and away from the everyday stresses of a child’s illness.

“We’re hoping to do well enough that night to replace all our units… after 15 years,” Littleton said.

Funds are already pouring in for the $20 tickets, but will also come from votes for the prom court. For $1 per vote, attendees can cast ballots for prom king and queen, to be announced later that night.

Nominees for the court’s king are Joe Kendall, of Kendall Furnishings; Ryan Intrieri, of Hooper’s Crab House; JJ Roth, of Seacret’s 98.1 Radio; Mark Odachowski, of Royal Plus; and Mark Custodio, of Bull on the Beach.

For queen, nominees are Jill Ferrante, of Park Place Jewelers; Patricia Ilczuk-Lavanceau, of Comcast Spotlight; Jodie Noonan, of Amber Nicole’s Bridal and Formal; Jenny Lauman, of Hooter’s in West Ocean City; and Lindsay Candelora, also of Hooter’s.

“Everybody I asked wanted to do it. They were really excited about helping the Children’s House,” Littleton said.

Silent auction items will include trips, dinners, gift baskets and sports items, he said, and attendees that bring their prom picture for a photo board will get a free cocktail.

Believe in Tomorrow does a black tie fundraiser in the spring to raise money, but Prom Night will bring something different to the table for people who want to attend both, Littleton said.

“We get some very sick children here and we just want to show them a good time,” he said.

Prom Night starts at 7 p.m. at Hooters on Route 50 in West Ocean City. The event is capped at 180 tickets and the response has already been good, Littleton said. Reserve a ticket by calling 410-723-2842. To learn more, visit www.believeintomorrow.org/housing_bythesea.html.

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