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Prom Hanks: Better Than High School Prom

By Betsy Mikel in Arts & Entertainment on Apr 23, 2010 6:40PM

The theme of this year's 826CHI Prom: Prom Hanks.
What do The Da Vinci Code, Toy Story, and Apollo 13 have in common? [Ed. note: And Bachelor Party!] Too easy, Oscar-winning superhuman Tom Hanks, of course. According to the 826CHI prom committee, he represents the "everyman American," thus is the theme for this year's prom a.k.a. Prom Hanks. It's tomorrow night.

At its heart, the annual prom is a fundraiser to support 826CHI's writing programs for Chicagoland kids. Meanwhile, prom-goers get to dress up like a person, place, or thing from a Tom Hanks movie and get lots of hooch, food, and '80s cover band music and dancing. There's also a raffle and silent auction. This year, prizes include gift certificates to local favorites such as Reckless Records, Filter, Permanent Records, and Myopic Books and tickets to Cubs and Sox games. There's even legit Tom Hanks memorabilia from the man himself; Hanks donated some autographed items (like a Wilson volleyball and a custom baseball jersey made for his 50th birthday) for the silent auction.

If you're wondering where the idea from Prom Hanks came from, don't. Every year, 826CHI volunteers and staff simply think very hard and the theme speaks to them. In the past, it's been "One Night of Magic," "The AV Club Welcomes You," and "Robot Armageddon." This year's Prom Hanks offers very versatile prom-wear ideas. According to IMDB, Mr. Hanks has acted in 60 movies and TV shows, so it shouldn't be too difficult to come up with a clever costume.

If you're considering attending tomorrow's prom, buy your $35 ticket online by 11:59 p.m. tonight. Tickets can also be purchased at the door tomorrow for $50.

826CHI Prom 2010: Prom Hanks, Pulaski Park Fieldhouse, 1419 W. Blackhawk St., 8 p.m., 21+