In what has become a traditional rite of passage into prom season at Long Beach High School, seniors took to the stage at the Morning Madness Fashion Show, modeling the latest prom wear to raise money and generate some buzz for the Parent Teacher Student Association’s (PTSA) 19th Annual Morning Madness alcohol-free after-prom party.

“It’s hard to believe that none of you were even born the year we hosted the first Morning Madness,” said Maria Martin, as she and fellow committee co-chairs Darlene Tangney, Randi Andosca, Gina Knauer and Linda Birnbaum stepped up to the podium to open the festivities.

While parents and friends enjoyed an Aussie-style feast, donated by Outback Steakhouse of Island Park, the seniors were busy backstage completing their transformations from typical teenagers to glamorous models.

A photo slide show of senior pictures juxtaposed with baby pictures of the models entertained the audience members as they awaited the entrance of the first group to parade down the runway in glittering gowns, tuxedos and tails. Each couple embellished their entrances with personal touches, adding canes, top hats, sunglasses and confetti.

Gowns and tuxedos were provided courtesy of Long Beach’s own Frock on West Beech Street, and Yaniv’s Wedding Center on West Park Avenue. Teacher Maria Perrone once again choreographed the show, and music teacher Bruce Kaplan provided piano accompaniment.

“As our seniors approach the end of their high school careers, this is a time for them to enjoy, but also to reflect,” said Superintendent Dr. Robert Greenberg. “We are all grateful to the Morning Madness Committee for each year setting the tone for a safe prom season. They make me very proud to be a superintendent in this district.

Morning Madness is an alcohol- and drug-free all-night party that provides seniors with a fun, safe and absolutely free place to continue their celebration after the prom. The party, which is open to all seniors, features food, music and raffle prizes. The grand prizes, raffled off at the end of the evening, are a laptop computer and a brand new car. Students must be present and accounted for at the time of the raffle in order to be eligible to win the computer and the car – a powerful incentive to stay all night.

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The PTSA Morning Madness Committee extended heartfelt thanks to the many local merchants and individuals who have donated money, services and raffle prizes throughout the year. Anyone still interested in becoming a sponsor or making a donation is invited to contact the LBHS PTSA at 516-897-2012.