DEAR ABBY: I am a senior in high school and bummed out about the upcoming prom. You see, I've gotten the word that this boy, "Zack," is planning to invite me.

I don't want to go with him. Zack is not even close to a good date - especially for my senior prom. He mumbles when he talks, and people have to continually ask him to repeat what he just said. He also doesn't know how to treat a girl. He can only talk about sports, and he shows no interest in other people's interests.

I want to go to my last prom - just not with him. How can I nicely refuse him if he asks me?

- Prom Problem

DEAR PROM PROBLEM: If you have a guy friend you'd like to attend the prom with, ask him to take you. If he agrees, then you'll have a legitimate reason for telling Zack you can't go with him, and it won't wound his ego.

However, if the guys you'd like to go with all have other dates in mind, then consider going stag or with a group and inform Zack that's what you have decided to do.

DEAR ABBY: What's the procedure for sending a memorial contribution for someone who has died? Do you put a check in the card you give to the family, or should it go directly to the charity?

- Jill in Washington

DEAR JILL: Checks should be sent directly to the designated charity, "In memory of (the deceased)." Once the charity receives the checks, the family is usually given a list of contributors' names. Include in your sympathy card or condolence note the fact that you have made the donation. *