Prom faces many differences this year

Prom is a yearly social event commemorating the students’ approach of graduation. Aside from being a widely celebrated academic event, it is the biggest celebration of students’ high school career, besides graduation. Every year, Graham holds prom for both juniors and seniors. However, due to COVID restrictions, prom will be two separate events: one for the juniors and one for the seniors. 

On May 22, 2021, in Jack Asbury Square, Graham’s senior class will be hosting their prom themed “Under the Stars,” which will be featuring a magical scenery full of twinkling lights. The night will also display a vast selection of different gowns and suits. Leslie Lambert (Project Graduation Committee) said, “It is of course prom attire, but if you don’t want to wear a tux, you can wear a suit and that would be completely understandable.”

Similarly to the senior class, the junior prom will be set for May. However, it will take place in the Bluefield Elks on the 8th. Mrs. Largen (junior parent) said, “We tried to find a date that did not interfere with the senior prom and give them a couple weeks to recover from one to another if any seniors wanted to attend both.” Unlike the senior prom, the junior prom is open to both the juniors and seniors and it will be hosted indoors. To ensure safety, parents will be offering masks and taking temperatures at the front door. Along with this, ballot for prom royalty will be taken at entrance as well.

The senior prom is restricted to everyone but seniors because of the set limit of 100 guests. Patty Douthat (Project Graduation Committee) said, “It is just for seniors this year. When we started our planning process, COVID restrictions said only 100 were permitted so at that time we knew we couldn’t  do juniors and seniors together.”

Both proms, despite the dates soon approaching, have just started their planning process, especially the juniors. Largen spoke up saying, “It was definitely a last minute thing. We probably started around the last week of March when we found out that the juniors were not going to have a prom to go to.” She added that they had reserved a venue only for the renter to change the date on them, which caused quite a bit of backtracking in their planning until they found another venue.

Normally the proms are sponsored and funded through Graham High School. However, this year many changes have had to be arranged. Despite being granted a donation by the school, both prom committees have found their main source of funding through the parents. For juniors, donations through Facebook have been the most profitable way to gather funds. Both Izabella McGuire(11) and Mrs. Largen have stated that the junior parents have taken over the money problem. Regarding the seniors, Largen said, “My understanding is that the senior prom is being funded by Project Graduation.” This was later supported by Lambert saying, “We are funded by Project Graduation.” Both committees have also had donations from area businesses.

Due to all of the restrictions this year, appetizers will be kept at a minimum, with both proms serving light, prepackaged snacks and bottled waters. However, unlike the junior prom, the seniors will be hosting a breakfast for everyone to attend once the party has concluded. 

Prom this year will be a bit different, but both committees are determined to grant these deserving students an event that they will remember. After everything that has happened in the last year, it is doubtful that these students will face anything worse than they already have.