PARKERSBURG - Have fun. Be safe. Make good decisions.
Officials at Parkersburg South High School and community leaders joined together Friday to urge students to have a safe and fun prom this weekend. Schools throughout the area will be holding dances tonight, and officials are stressing the need for prom-goers to make positive life decisions.
"What we want to do today is get into your head the idea of making good decisions," said Principal Tom Eschbacher. "Many times the difference between a good and bad decision can be the difference between life and death."
Photo by Michael Erb
Former Army POW Jessica Lynch spoke Friday to students at Parkersburg South High School as part of the school’s annual Prom Promise program.
Prom "is a rite of passage, something you look forward to throughout high school," said former teacher Larry "Mad Max" Maxwell. "We want you to have a good time and keep your head about you."
Friday's gathering was part of the school's annual Prom Promise program, sponsored by Nationwide Insurance and Vaughan Funeral Home.
The event featured former soldier and prisoner of war Jessica Lynch. A Wirt County native, Lynch was held captive by Iraqi soldiers during the Iraq War and rescued by American forces.
Lynch spoke of her ordeal and how she has had to make tough decisions in her life to recover from her wounds.
"I've learned perseverance, to never give up," she said. "Keep striving and dreaming."
Lynch also urged students to make positive choices in their lives.
"Make those smart choices," she said. "Every one of you has to make decisions. Do the right things. You know what they are."
Senior Dean Forshey signed the Prom Promise Pledge and won a limo ride for himself, his date and two other couples as well as dinner for the group at a restaurant of his choice. The prize was sponsored by Vaughan Funeral Home.