Two area schools are holding prom events for students while keeping social distancing and CDC guidelines in mind.
Williamson Jr.-Sr. High School will hold its prom Saturday, July 18, while Wellsboro Area High School is planning a prom for this Saturday, July 11.
Williamson Area High School graduate Christie Roslund has been working to provide one last memory for the Class of 2020 following the COVID-19 shutdown.
Roslund, with the help of her grandparents, has been fundraising, organizing and planning the 2020 prom for Williamson juniors and seniors to be held from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Tokishi Building in Wellsboro.
“We are not familiar with all of this,” Roslund’s grandmother, Rhonda Schultz, said. “We started putting it together and it’s been one step after another.”
One of the first challenges was finding a venue. After looking around, Roslund was able to secure the Tokishi Building in Wellsboro.
Schultz said the venue is perfect for what they need with both indoor space and a large, outdoor patio.
Next, Roslund found a DJ in Cowanesque Valley graduate Evan Kies and was also able to get in touch with a photographer. So, three of the big necessities on the prom checklist were met.
But there was still a lot of work to be done. For one thing, Roslund still needed to find a backdrop to match the Starry Night theme. Using a little elbow grease and some help from her grandfather, Roslund built a crescent moon out of plywood. She then secured a seat on the backside of the moon where couples will sit to have their photographs taken.
Putting everything together has required a lot of work, but Roslund is determined to pull this off.
Schultz said Roslund has been so focused it has been incredible to watch and be involved. In addition to securing the facilities, DJ and photographer, Roslund has been putting together the ballots, the decorations and has kept a running tally of everything.
“I’m like every mother and grandmother, I’m heartbroken over what they had to give up,” Schultz said concerning the Class of 2020. “We are just doing what we can to bring some happiness to our local kids who have been hurt by the situation.”
The cost of tickets is $20 per person. Juniors or seniors planning to attend can call or text 570-404-8490.
To help with fundraising jars have been set up at local businesses in Elkland, Lawrenceville, Millerton and Tioga. Donations can also be made at Roslund’s GoFundMe page at https://gf.me/u/yc5krf.
Wellsboro High School Principal Jeremy Byrd said that Wellsboro’s prom will be for senior class members only, with each allowed to bring one guest.
It will be held from 7-10 p.m. in the Deane Center for the Performing Arts at 104 Main St., Wellsboro. Students will have to wear masks.
“Those guys continue to adapt and make it as normal as possible,” said Byrd.
A DJ will spin the songs, while The Red Skillet is providing refreshments. Party-goers will be able to spread out between the Coolidge Theatre and lobby.
“The moment we entered green, we started pursuing what this would look like,” Byrd said.
About 75 students and guests are expected to attend. And — best of all — it’s free.
“That class has done a fantastic job raising money over the past four years,” he added.
Students are just glad to have a chance to come together and celebrate.
“Our administration, high school teachers and community have been fantastic to the Class of 2020,” said recent grad and prom planner Cathryn Brought.
“They have done so many kind things that have helped pull us through this tough time. We can’t thank everyone enough for supporting us. Most plans for prom were made before the school closure, so we are very excited and grateful to be able to make them happen. Prom is an important event every year for the senior class, and we are really looking forward to it.”