In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic in March, students and teachers had to make many sacrifices. One of these was having to cancel the annual junior-senior prom last school year.
Prom funding was lost because the reservation of the preselected venue and caterer, Bay Pointe Woods, was non-refundable. Instead, extra money for the class of 2020 was spent on their graduation ceremony. It, too, was sacrificed for a more expensive but socially-distant event at the Kalamazoo Speedway.
With all this, much of the staff and current students are trying to stay positive. But there are still many unknowns as to what will happen with this year’s prom, or even the one after that.
“How will prom be funded if we haven’t been having fundraisers? How are we going to raise money?” said Carissa Oakes ‘22.
As of right now, the school is still holding out hope that students will be able to run fundraisers for a junior-senior prom this year, or maybe a make-up one from last year.
Many graduates from the class of 2020 were very saddened to not be able to have a senior prom. French teacher and class advisor Sarah Boven has said that if possible she would like to avenge the class of 2020.
“I would love for the school to be able to host something for the class of 2020, but our main concern is ‘will they want to have a prom or are they just ready to move on?’” said Boven.
Principal Jeremy Wright and other staff members believe that due to the graduates moving in separate directions and moving away for college, the turnout for such an event would be small.
“I would maybe go. It would depend on when it is and if any of my friends would go,” said Allison Mony ‘20.
If there was an event held for current students or for 2020 graduates, it would need to have a strict mask mandate, appropriate distancing, and limiting of attendees allowed, all of which would be fairly difficult to inforce. First, the school would need to raise money to even host the event.
Because of Covid-19, things like fundraisers should be approached with caution, but this doesn’t mean raising money is not do-able. There are always safe alternatives students can use in order to raise money.
“I think we could do more events like painting the parking spots, or get something to do with the community like sell coupons or something like that. We did it for football and we’d always get help from the community,” said Isaac Rowe ‘21.
Due to a lack of fundraisers held by the advisory committee of the class of 2020 and other sources, the class of 2021 currently has extremely low funding. Because of this, funding to pay for a dance is not going to come easy. If money is not raised quickly, it is looking like some seniors will have never been to a prom come their graduation.
As of right now, there is no Event Planning class scheduled for the third trimester. Event Planning and the students in the class have been an integral part in planning past proms by holding fundraisers, booking venues, and performing other tasks.
“It would be really difficult to plan a prom this year even if we did have an Event Planning class. We never got to look at venues for this year’s prom so they would have to plan the entire thing in one trimester and still have to start planning the next school year’s prom,” said Trinity Lemmer ‘22.
Though the outlook seems grim, Event Planning students are holding out hope that they can get a head start on next year’s prom.
“If they can, I think they should reschedule the class for third tri so we can start planning next school year’s if we can have one next year,” said Lemmer.