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updated: 4/15/2011 11:43 AM

West Chicago students shut out of post-prom party

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  • Cameron Swinney plans to wear a kilt again this year to prom at West Chicago's Community High School, but he's disappointed that tickets for a post-prom cruise sold out.

      Cameron Swinney plans to wear a kilt again this year to prom at West Chicago's Community High School, but he's disappointed that tickets for a post-prom cruise sold out.
    Courtesy of Carol Swinney


The post-prom event at West Chicago's Community High School is a hotter ticket than anyone expected.

The good news is so many kids want to go to a chaperoned after-prom event designed to keep them safe and sober. The bad news is, well, so many kids want to go.

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All 400 tickets to the midnight cruise on the Odyssey at Navy Pier sold out, leaving some students disappointed and parents irate.

"It's not fair," said Carol Swinney, whose son Cameron, 18, is a senior. "My son has looked forward to this for four years.'

School officials now are working with the cruise line to see if it's possible to expand the capacity for the event.

"We are limited to the number of tickets that the cruise (ship) allows us to sell, and we could not have anticipated this kind of demand," said Chris Covino, director of student activities at Community High School. "Historically, it's far greater than we've ever had before."

The CHS After Prom Committee has offered "All Night Long", a chaperoned post-prom party, at various venues for almost two decades. The event includes food, entertainment and transportation.

The Odyssey cruise is open to all juniors and seniors, including those who aren't attending the prom April 29.

Coach buses will pick up prom-goers at Abbington Distinctive Banquets in Glen Ellyn and the others at school. About 50 students who aren't attending prom bought Odyssey tickets, Covino said.

The $20 cruise tickets were supposed to be on sale until April 22, but when Swinney's son tried to buy one last week, he found they were already sold out.

Two years ago, approximately 300 students bought tickets for the after-prom party on the Odyssey, Covino said. Last year's after prom event was held at a games venue.

Swinney said it's not fair that some Community High School students have been able to purchase post-prom tickets for their dates who attend other high schools.

"There are kids who are guests of other students and they've got tickets," she said. "Our kids can't get the tickets."

Swinney said she and other parents have made donations and supported the After Prom Committee's fundraisers for years. Her older son attended the event both his junior and senior years.

"If there were extra tickets available, then let them bring their dates but it should be our students first," Swinney said. "And honestly I think it should be kids who are going to the prom who should get the first chance at the after-prom."

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