Forget High School: Head to an Epic Adult Prom This Week for Charity

How a former exec turned a desire for IRL connection into a massive dance party.

By Eden Dawn June 19, 2017

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Karin Hesselvik says that a year into quitting her corporate Nike job to stay at home with her first child, she began to feel something she hadn’t expected: lonely. After being used to the bustle of 20 years in creative communications fields, it occurred to her there were probably other women like her out there, happy moms who also missed the hustle.

So it began with coffees. Calling up women she knew, some she didn’t, and trying to find connections between other rookie moms and veteran creatives. Last October saw the launch of Pom Pom Social, the official moniker Hesselvik gave the growing group for its rah-rah-rah vibes, and at a packed-to-the-gills event at Spartan shop right after Hillary Clinton’s surprising election loss, the group turned into a combo of altruism and networking connections.

“It got really emotional and I was impressed how honest people were being. You’re in a room full of strangers and people were opening up,” she says on the tipping point that ended up solidifying their bond. “We got additional fuel by the turn of the political landscape; it had us fired up.” 

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Now the young group can be counted on to pitch in and help out. They’ve collaborated with local homeless and domestic abuse shelter Rose Haven for overhauling their strategy, hosted events at Wieden + Kennedy, but Saturday they’re gearing up for their biggest event yet. 

The Midsummer Night-themed Pom Prom, a benefit for our local Planned Parenthood Columbia/Willamette chapter, is set to be a party for the books. From the entertainment—burlesque performer Clementine Peel, dance patrol power trio Strange Babes, and fashion show music experts DJ Gregarious and Elizabeth Mollo—to the pre-show silent auction with everything from Loyly gift certificates to work from Carson Ellis, this prom is poised to blow the high school version out of the water. 

The $60 tickets, with 100 percent of proceeds going to PP, includes entry, people watching for the best style interpretation of prom gear, and all the food/beer/bubbles/booze. Hesselvik says they’ve already sold two-thirds of the tickets and fully expect to be at capacity long before the event where she hopes the partygoers can “remember and celebrate that creative spirit.”

Pom Prom

8 p.m. Saturday, June 24, Jacobsen Salt Co, $60

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