By Darren Lum
The students of Hal High are looking for help from the community with making this year’s prom the best it can be.
After more than two years of health measures resulting in cancelled events, the high school’s prom committee is excited with plans to have the milestone event on May 28 at Sir Sam’s Ski and Ride in Eagle Lake.
Prom committee member Crystal Petry said, “It felt amazing to learn that we were able to have prom this year! There hasn’t been a prom for the past two years because of COVID, so the last two years of students have missed out on this amazing experience. With us being able to have a prom and graduation this year, it feels like life is getting back to normal.”
Justin Collins, who along with Kathryn Darling is an HHSS staff sponsor of this year’s prom committee wrote in an email message, prom is a “rite of passage for graduating students.”
“It’s one last night to celebrate four years of high school together before students go their separate ways. I think this year is more important though given what students have had to go through the last two years. Having to cancel prom in 2020 and 2021 was sad for those graduating classes, so the class of 2022 really felt strongly that if a prom could happen, it needed to,” he wrote. “We set out in the fall under the assumption that we would have a prom, but without any certainty that it would actually happen. We wanted to be ready in case we would be able to do so, and as restrictions were lifted, more and more opportunities became available for us in terms of the kind of event we could plan. In the new year things became much more clear as to not only that this would happen, but what it would look like.”
With the GoFundMe (www.gofundme.com/f/haliburton-highlands-secondary-school-prom) launched, they are looking to the public for help, which will enable as many people to attend as possible, and add additional niceties for everyone to enjoy.
Petry, who is on the committee with fellow Grade 12 student, Emma Thompson, wrote, “It means so much to us to be able to have the opportunity to plan prom with the rest of the committee. It was our main goal to fundraise enough money so we could make ticket prices lower for people who may not be able to afford it. It also allowed us to be able to have a photographer, photo booth and a DJ. We’ve been going around to local businesses to get raffle prizes, and we want to be able to have enough so that every graduating student gets a prize! If anyone from the public would like to donate a prize (gift cards, water bottles, accessory items, etc), anything is appreciated.”
As of Monday (May 16), the effort has resulted in $1,670 being raised towards the $5,000 goal.
From the GoFundMe page, as stated by Petry and Thompson: “As our high school lives come to a close, we can’t help but listen to all of the stories, reminisce about all of the memories that we have made, and become closer with all of our amazing teachers and fellow classmates. Prom night is a night to remember, and hopefully, we will be lucky enough to experience this once-in-a-lifetime feeling. Our prom is our way to have one last celebration with our friends and classmates of many years. We are extremely grateful for this opportunity as the last two years of graduates didn’t get this chance.”