Young Professionals’ sold-out adult prom ‘incredibly well-received’

Published 3:28 pm Monday, February 20, 2023

DOWAGIAC — An event that allowed guests to create new prom memories as adults was met with much fanfare Saturday evening.

The Young Professionals of Greater Dowagiac hosted its inaugural Second Hand Second Chance Adult Prom Saturday, Feb. 18 at the Dowagiac Elks Lodge, 300 Riverside Dr., Dowagiac.

The event for ages 21-and-up featured dancing, music by DJ Tru, food from Sister Lakes Brewing Company, Dowagiac Elks, Baker’s Rhapsody and Wounded Minnow, a cash bar and a Blueprint Photography photo booth.

Other contributing businesses included Flowers by Anna, Lux Parlor and makeup artist Kayla Heffington. Proceeds from the sold-out event will go toward the organization’s Freedom Fireworks fund.

According to organizer Rebecca Steenbeke, the event was a hit with guests, attracting guests From South Bend, Mishawaka, Kalamazoo, Elkhart and more.

“It went really well,” she said. “I’ve heard nothing but positive feedback. Everyone had a great time. This is our first adult-only event and it just was incredibly well-received by the community.”

Steenbeke thanked the Elks for hosting the event.

“They were fantastic,” she said. “They were really accommodating and awesome to work with.”

Steenbeke said the Young Professionals of Greater Dowagiac Facebook page will be updated Monday night with a photo album from Saturday’s prom. Members will use those photos to vote for the event’s best-dressed guests.

Following the success of the organization’s daddy-daughter and mommy-son events, Steenbeke said the community’s desire for an adult-only event grew in demand.

“I think that a lot of people were excited to dress up and have a nice date night or an evening with friends,” she said. “We didn’t want to make people feel like they had to buy something new. Some people found a dress at Goodwill, others an old bridesmaid dress. It was cool that people really went with the second-hand part of that.”

With the success of the Young Professionals’ adult-prom, Steenbeke said the event’s return is something the group will consider.

“It’s definitely going to be a conversation,” she said. “When we set out to put on an event, we strive to do them well. Based on the success of prom, it’s definitely going to be a conversation. What would we change, keep the same. It definitely opens the conversation up.”

For Steenbeke, seeing couples create new prom memories as adults was something she won’t soon forget.

“Some people went with the same person they went to their high school prom with,” she said. “Others got to go to prom with their wife, husband or significant other. It was pretty special.”