For many high-school students, prom is a night to get dressed up and make lasting, lifelong memories with friends.
But it doesn’t always work out that way.
“My prom was garbage,” said Mindy Hungerford, creator of the 2nd Chance Prom. “I had had a long-term boyfriend all through high school, and two weeks before prom, he dumped me for a freshman. … I took my best friend — who was a guy — and we went and we walk in the door and my ex-boyfriend is standing right there with his date, and she’s wearing the same dress as me. It was like a bad ‘90s movie.”
The third annual 2nd Chance Prom will be held from 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday, June 8, at the Jim Beech Recreation Center, 1820 A.D. Mims Road, Ocoee. Tickets cost $35 for singles or $60 for couples and can be purchased by emailing [email protected]. A limited number of tickets also will be sold at the door. The event is for adults ages 21 and older and includes dancing, dinner and a prom photo. Guests are welcome to take their own alcoholic beverages.
Money raised from the event goes toward providing life-saving supplies to the women and children in Uganda through the Watoto Church and Watoto Child Care Ministries. Each year, Hungerford travels to Uganda to work with Watoto Ministries, and she takes supplies for the women and children each trip. She pays for travel-related expenses herself and uses the 2nd Chance Prom funds to pay for items the women and children need.
Watoto Child Care Ministries is a branch of the Watoto Church, founded in 1984 by Gary and Marilyn Skinner. The church serves the abandoned women and children by providing housing, education, medical treatment and services and also matches orphaned children with abandoned or widowed women to create family settings for them.
Hungerford purchases some of the supplies, such as diapers, water, shoes, baby formula and feminine hygiene products, in the United States, but she buys most of her supplies in Uganda. One year, she even collected used tablets and smartphones to donate to the teachers and schools at Watoto.
“We bring lots of work shoes,” Hungerford said. “We bring water- purification pills, medication … (and other) stuff that they can’t get there or that are really expensive.”
Although Hungerford typically makes a trip to Uganda every year, she’s unable to go this year because she and her husband are trying to adopt a child. Instead, she will be giving the money she raises to a friend who also volunteers with Watoto Ministries every year.
“I’ve always had a heart for ministry,” Hungerford said. “I think God gives us all a calling. I think God gives us all a direction, and when you don’t follow that direction, it just tugs at you.”