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Outdoor prom event set for Aug. 1

EDWARDSBURG — A regional, all school prom has been greenlit as the original organizer has secured sponsors to partner with to put on the memorable event.

“We’re a ‘go,’” said Mica Yonker, owner of downtown Niles business, Oh My LLC.

Tickets priced at $10 each are available beginning Thursday for the outdoor formal event.

Yonker and her business are hosting A Night Under the Stars, an all school, outdoor prom at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 1 at the Edwardsburg Sports Complex at 27566 U.S. 12.

When schools closed down due to COVID-19 mandates in March, Yonker’s own daughter was worried about her prom. As high school rite of passage, Yonker wanted to ensure students were able to celebrate accordingly before they progressed to their next steps in life. Not limiting the event to Niles schools, Yonker has opened the event up to students from the greater Michiana area to enjoy a regional prom.

Yonker will not be hosting the event alone. She has secured partners, including DPM Events.

“I thought it was a great cause that she was trying to do the prom,” said Randy Hendrixson, owner of DPM Events. “We can bring together local companies, collaborate and do something really positive for the group of seniors in our area that really had a dismal senior year all around. Anything we can do to make it a night to remember for the seniors, I’m all in.”

Hendrixson has been busy working to ensure area graduating seniors are celebrated. As traditional events have been slower to be approved amid COVID-19 precautions and mandates, he has donated his company’s services to adapted events like Buchanan High School’s outdoor graduation ceremony. Unique offerings of the production company include its LED wall, which has proved helpful for the outdoor graduations.

“You can’t use a projector in broad daylight. It just doesn’t work,” Hendrixson said. “Having the LED wall technology here and available has really enabled us to fit right in and do some of these events that other companies aren’t able to do because they don’t have the technology.”

For the prom, DPM Events has some big ideas they are putting together to make it a memorable evening.

“It’s going to be a rock concert-like show for this group. We won’t hold anything back,” he said. “As a production company, DJ services are just a part of what we offer. We are hoping to put something pretty grand, most likely something these kids have never seen before.”

As an area production company owner, Hendrixson said the COVID-19 shutdowns have meant his business has had to adapt.

“We have had to evolve, just like restaurants,” he said. “They’ve had to change the way they do things, and we do, too. I’ve been in business for 25 years, and over the last 25 years we have had to evolve for other reasons. Business is business. You have to evolve when the world changes to stay relevant.”

Partnering to produce an outdoor prom is just one of those ways he intends to evolve.

The prom will be open to all area students — freshmen through graduating seniors. The outdoor event will have a limit of 500 attendees. The event will be open for special needs students under the age of 25, and freshmen through graduating seniors under the age of 21. There will be two photography companies on site, including Emma Haas Photography and Photos by Aiyana Hagen. Other co-sponsors include Walls by Walls Inc. and Dunhill Tuxedos.

The A Night Under the Stars prom will include an hors d’oeuvre offering, as Yonker works to provide a full experience for the attendees.

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