It was almost 4 a.m. and Tom Urena was fast asleep on a cabana chair at the Lynbrook Village Pool when he was awoken for something serious.
Nope, not a cop taking him to the clink for trespassing.
Urena had a grand prize to pick up.
A couple hundred feet away at a raffle table, Lynbrook High School senior Urena’s name had just been pulled out of a bag as the winner of a MacBook, part of the annual post-prom event at the pool run by PTA moms to give the teens something safe and fun to do on prom night.
“I got a text, actually,” Urena explained of how he found out he won.
Urena went to the table in a dress shirt and slacks, but some students were jumping out of the pool to collect the assorted spoils. One teen grabbed his new smart TV, then had it put to the side for safekeeping so he could dry off before dripping all over the box.
The party started at 3 a.m. on June 22, with food for the taking and All Island Transportation providing complimentary taxi rides home when the teens were finally ready to call it a night. The PTA volunteers were mothers of junior class members.
“[Parents of seniors] are busy getting their kids ready for prom and graduation, which is tomorrow — actually today,” said volunteer Charmaine Sorbara, catching herself after Thursday had become Friday several hours earlier.
“We’ve been through it because we have older girls, so we’ve done it already,” added Annette Cimato.
It was quite the marathon for Lynbrook seniors and their parents. A Thursday morning senior breakfast was followed by the graduation rehearsal, then a rush to get ready because Lynbrook’s prom starts with an annual parade in the village’s downtown in the afternoon. Students get the catwalk treatment while family and friends watch from the sidewalk.
With all the pomp and circumstance, the chance to decompress in the pool between prom and graduation is much appreciated.
“Being a girl, it’s not ideal because they give you so little time,” said senior Alyssa Massa, 18, while still in the water early Friday morning. “But it works out in the end.”