UMM to Host 3rd Annual Rainbow Ball April 10

Prom event is part of Bad Little Pride Week

MACHIAS, ME – The University of Maine at Machias will hold its 3rd Annual Rainbow Ball from 7–11 p.m. on Saturday, April 10, at the Reynolds Center Gymnasium. The event is part of Bad Little Pride Week.

The Rainbow Ball is an open and affirming chem-free prom evening that includes dancing, pictures, food, and friends. It is offered as an alternative prom for youth who may be gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, and their allies. There will be events for youth guests the entire weekend of April 9–11. All associated high school and college students, youth groups, and community members, including groups that are allies, are invited to attend the casual, fun, safe, supervised, and friendly community celebration.

This year’s Rainbow Ball has a “Back to the 50’s” theme. Professional photographer and UMM graduate, Jen Reynolds, will take prom pictures (covered in the price of the tickets). The Sigma Chi fraternity will DJ the event. Bangor musician and recording artist, Jessi Mallory, will entertain guests with her nationally recognized Elvis impersonation, “Jelvis.” Although attendees have a tendency to lean toward semi-formal-to-formal dress, everyone is encouraged to have fun, be themselves, and be fabulous!

The prom and associated events have been made possible for the past two years by financial assistance from the Maine Community Foundation Equity Fund and private donors Joe Higdon and Ellen Sudow. UMM’s 100% Society, a student club, coordinates and plans all the activities. Co-sponsors of the event include The Bridge Alliance of Bangor and UMM’s Student Senate, Diversity Committee, Omicron Delta Pi fraternity, Office of Student Life, and Office of the President.

Rainbow Ball tickets for college students and community members are $15 for one and $20 for two. Tickets for youth are free. Tickets may be purchased at the door or in advance at UMM’s Murdock Bookstore and the First Stop. All ticket proceeds and donations will be used to support next year’s Rainbow Ball.

Organizers hope to increase public, and high school students’ and administrators’, awareness of how inclusiveness can be incorporated around adolescent rites of passage, such as the prom. Students who attend the Rainbow Ball will have the opportunity to participate the way they wish with their friends in this important school years’ social event. Interacting with college students and adults who model a tolerant environment will allow high school students to develop positive ways to envision their future lives. College students may also learn skills of inclusiveness which define today’s workplace.

For more information, financial support, and help arranging transportation or lodging, please e-mail Betty Kelley, assistant to the president, with “Rainbow Ball” in the subject line, or call (207) 255-1211. To learn more about the 100% Society, visit machias.edu/100percent or find the 100% Society on Facebook.

The Rainbow Ball is scheduled at the end of UMM’s 9th Annual Bad Little Pride Week. The following Pride week events are free and open to the public:

  • Tuesday, April 6
    Movie – “To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar”

    7 p.m., in Portside, Kimball Hall
  • Wednesday, April 7
    Diversity Presentation by Liz Mercer of Down East AIDS Network (DEAN)

    7 p.m., in Portside, Kimball Hall
  • Thursday, April 8
    Open Mic with Chicks with Picks and Hurricane Bertha

    7 p.m., Portside, Kimball Hall
  • Friday, April 9
    Drag Show

    7 p.m., Portside, Kimball Hall

For more information about Pride Week, e-mail Lois-Ann Kuntz, associate professor of psychology and advisor to the 100% Society, with “Pride Week” in the subject line.

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