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826CHI's Prom Fundraiser to Have Sci-Fi Theme

 Tickets are on sale for the April 26 prom, which riffs on a theme off Planet 9 From Outer Space.
826CHI Prom Fundraiser
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LINCOLN PARK — This month, local nonprofit 826CHI is inviting adults to relive their prom experience or do it over again with a boozy-themed fundraiser in Lincoln Park.

The Wicker Park center's ninth annual party includes music, dancing, drinks and a silent auction to raise money for its free writing programs, which serve students ages 6 to 18. The kids will stay behind for the night, as the party is just for those 21 and older.

"Even if prom was the worst day of their life or the best, you can kind of reclaim it," 826CHI spokeswoman Abi Humber said, adding that this time the punch is "allowed to be spiked."

The gala, dubbed "Prom 9 From Outer Space" in a reference to the B-movie "Plan 9," goes down April 26 at the St. Vincent de Paul Center Gymnasium, 2145 N. Halsted St.

"I think it really celebrates the revelrous, kind of quirky spirit of 826," Humber said.

Like in past years, 826CHI encourages partygoers to dress up in costume for the sci-fi night and offers plenty of suggestions for how to get into the cult film or cosmic vibe. In 2013, the theme was "Promic-Con," while 2010 was the year of "Prom Hanks."

While the fundraiser usually attracts center volunteers and donors, anyone is welcome to attend, Humber said. Individual tickets are $55 in advance and $60 at the door.

For the center, a branch of the national nonprofit started by author Dave Eggers and former teacher Ninive Calegari, "it’s a really important time for us to be raising funds, kind of coming out of the dead of winter," Humber said.

And in reminding partiers that the event is, after all, for the children, some decorations will draw from student writing, like cardboard cutouts that might have sentences from original short stories.

"Students love to write about aliens and outer space and weird stuff coming from the sky," Humber said.

For the silent auction, the center is still taking donated items. Business owners or individuals interested in donating to the auction can email hayley@826CHI.org, Humber said.

Holding true to the atmosphere of 826CHI, Humber said the theme will be playful and fun.

"Everyone’s being a little tongue and cheek, a little snarky," she said.