By Denise Badger-Connell, Publisher
UPDATED 6/25/2020: Thank you to yet another generous teacher who has graciously offered to do the photography for the prom!
UPDATED 6/24/2020: Since this article was published on June 18, the Prom organizers shared that there have been two big donations toward the Prom fund and more tickets have sold!
More thanks go out to a teacher at Apopka High, who wants to remain anonymous, for making a donation directly to the prom. And another big thanks to Lowe’s for the PVC pipe and all the building material needed to build the photo backdrop frame, plus donating 50 face masks.
“It’s clear that Apopka loves the Blue Darters, ” said one of the organizers. “We are so thankful, and excited for the kids!”
With a tradition in America that goes back to the 1800’s, Prom Night is a big deal. There are creatively written “promposals”, the search for the perfect dress and dapper tux, whispers of romance, plans to go with friends in limos, and curiosity about who will be crowned king and queen. For many, the event is counted down for months; for others, years.
One mom shared that her daughter, a junior at Apopka High last year, decided she wouldn’t go to Prom that year. Why not just save the money and memories for the big one, when she was a senior? After all, why would 2020 be any different than the past 126 years of seniors and students getting to experience the “big dance”?
It was a reasonable assumption… before COVID-19.
If you haven’t already, imagine being a senior this year. Everything suddenly shuts down, and instantly those exciting “last days” you’ve been longing for years to experience, are gone. Hanging out with your friends and doing crazy-fun memory-making one last time – gone; “senior days” and breakfasts, award ceremonies and last championships – gone; much deserved parties to celebrate enduring, persevering and triumphing – gone; graduation – the pride of walking down the aisle to get your diploma and hearing the applause of “Well done!” congratulations – gone; and Prom – the last dance, or first… the romance… the fun… the letting loose and breathing free together with your class, one last time – gone.
There are poignant moments in life, moments that let you pause and realize that you’re on a threshold – of your next season, of growing up, of stepping forward. These moments are deeply important to the human spirit. Traditions, ceremonies, rites of passage — we make time for these because they mark our lives with meaning. They give us a chance to reflect, to embrace what was, who we are now, and allows us in these moments – grounded in and surrounded by the support of friends, teachers, family – to dream of what can be and what we can become… next.
Prom is one of those threshold moments.
More than simply an end-of-year party, it’s a time that seniors can stand in that in-between moment and dance their way from what was to what can be… next.
Not in this town. Not for this senior class.
And so they rallied, and have been furiously organizing and making plans, gathering support and moving forward, for their seniors to have this moment.
“As long as there is no official lock-down again, we’re making Prom happen,” said one of the parents who wanted to remain anonymous. The organizers made it clear they “don’t want recognition”, they just want these kids to know they’re loved, and that they will have their Prom.
“The class of 2020 has had a lot of disappointments lately and I’m hoping that this event will make them happy,” said one of the moms.
The Details for the Blue Darter Senior Prom 2020
Date: July 16, 2020
Time: 8:00pm – 12:00am
Place: Historic Highland Manor (address)
Who: Apopka High School Juniors and Seniors (and your optional +1)
Tickets: $25/person – through Venmo @apkprom2020; presale through July 1
The Fine Print: All participants must have a current student ID (juniors, seniors and all +1 students). There will be no admittance without student ID. Refunds will be given only if a stay-at-home order is issued on Prom Night. Light refreshments will be provided by Dubsdread Catering including cookies, brownies, tea, lemonade, water, etc. There will be a DJ for music and a photographer
Questions: Pam – email: firstname.lastname@example.org; call | text: 321-287-8248
Donations are definitely needed! The parents are not making any money on this, but putting in all they can, just hoping to break even.
If you would like to make a donation to help with the Prom you can contact Pam directly, or donate through the Go Fund Me page of the Apopka High Prom Keepsakes and Final Cost.
The organizers are also hoping that after all the vendors are paid there will be enough left over to get the seniors a keepsake gift such as a cup, keychain or photo frame, and royalty keepsakes for the Prom king and queen.
Anything you can contribute will be greatly appreciated!
The parents organizing this special event wanted to make sure the community knows how great Apopkans are and give a HUGE “Thank You!” to the following who have jumped in to offer support and help make this happen:
Thank you to the Highland Manor for giving us a discount on the venue and catering!
Thank you to the Apopka Police Department for providing security at the Prom! There will be one officer for up to 99 attendees, and two officers provided if over 100.
Thank you to UPS on Rock Springs Rd. for donating colored fliers!
Thank you to Publix for making a donation for needed supplies!
Thank you to a generous teacher for volunteering to DJ!
Thank you to all – including the parents and siblings of seniors who have volunteered to DJ, chaperone, organize, contribute — and all the efforts of everyone helping make the kids happy!