Lake Havasu High School students are having a prom after all.
When the school-sponsored prom got iced by the coronavirus, the dance was one of many time-honored traditions that were abruptly canceled. The spring sports season and commencement for graduates were also scrubbed.
With this week’s lifting of stay-at-home orders and other tight restrictions in Arizona, a group of Havasu mothers seized the opportunity to plan a prom for their high school students. There is no support or involvement from school district administrators or high school faculty for the event.
Angela Thornhill, Patty Bagshaw, Shannon Jones, Krissi Adams and Ronda Skirvin came together to organize the dance. The event is May 30, 8-11 p.m., at Calvary Baptist Church’s McCulloch Boulevard campus. The church’s cavernous multi-use room can easily accommodate a few hundred students, tables and chairs and a roomy dance floor.
Billed as “The prom that almost never was,” the dance is open only to the high school’s juniors and seniors plus their dates, Thornhill said.
“We wanted to give these kids a party. We want them to be able to say good-bye to each other,” Thornhill explained. She said she’s spearheading the prom plans because of her desire to salvage something meaningful from her son’s senior year.
“Zachary and his friends lost out on so much from their senior year because of the pandemic -- baseball season, graduation. It’s been frustrating. But now that they’ll get their prom, the kids are so excited,” she said.
Most of the teens have not seen each other in person since March 13. On that day, students were dismissed for spring break. Shortly after, schools and many businesses closed indefinitely because of the pandemic. Havasu’s population was forced to isolate at home for nearly eight weeks.
The parent organizers chose “Footloose” as the theme for the May 30 prom.
Thornhill said students will mix and mingle under a canopy of white lights and silver stars. The decorating goal is to faithfully recreate the party scene from the 1984 musical drama starring Kevin Bacon.
“We have plenty of lights, but we need Command strips to hang everything up. We also need black and silver balloons,” she said when asked if the volunteer parent group needs donations. Other items on the moms’ wish list include prizes for drawings at the end of the evening. She suggested gift cards, t-shirts or “anything at all” that appeals to teens.
The parent group also has a Gofundme account, “Lake Havasu Prom 2020.” As of noon on Friday, $1,155 of the $2,000 goal had been raised.
Students can buy their $10 prom tickets through a link on the event’s “Prom 2020” Facebook page. They can also submit prom queen and king nominations. Thornhill said the ticket money will help cover the cost of appetizers, dessert, mocktails and decorations. Parents can volunteer to chaperone by messaging her through the social media page or at email@example.com.
Response to needs for the prom has been encouraging, she said.
“We have many parents who want to help. People in the community are also volunteering. There’s been a big outpouring of love. Chris Banks is our DJ; he’s a favorite of the kids. We’ll have a photo booth and a photographer. It’s all coming together,” Thornhill said.