Altoona parent hosts alternative prom for current, previous seniors

April 9, 2021


Courtesy of Courtney Burns

As the 2021 school year comes to an end an alternative prom is happening. “I hope that the 2021 and 2020 seniors attending will enjoy and make memories from this night,” parent Courtney Burns said.

While the high school still plans to host prom for 2021 seniors, there will also be COVID-19 procedures. Other parents and organizations are starting to plan an alternative prom for seniors. Parent Courtney Burns decided to host an alternative prom for 2021 and 2020 seniors prom-goers in May 2021.

“Amanda Garner and I are the main hostesses. There are a few other moms that are helping as well. We are doing everything on our own without any sponsors. We get money for prom by selling hoagies to people. If parents help sell a lot of hoagies their children will get free tickets,” Burns said.

This alternative prom event will take place at the Homer’s Gap Civic Center from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on May 1. For current seniors, the admissions will cost $10 individually, as for the 2020 seniors the admissions will be $15 individually.

There will be specific rules and requirements for the prom-goers who are attending the alternative prom. Some of the rules are slightly different from Altoona’s prom.

“The maximum capacity is two hundred kids, so we’re going to cut it in half to a hundred so that way the kids can social distance and wear masks. This prom event is indoors with the option of being outdoors if you wanted to take a mask break. There’s a big wrap around the porch outside where they can stand down, stand on. It’s mainly geared for the seniors of 2021 and the 2020 seniors that missed out because of COVID-19. The seniors of 2020 and 2021 can take anyone from ninth grade to the age of 20,” Burns said.

Some students are going to this prom for many reasons.

“I chose this prom to go to because I can take my date that graduated last year. I would still go to this prom even if my mom didn’t host this prom,” senior Piper Ferguson said.

“I wanted to go to this prom because I had nothing else to do. I hope to make new memories and friends. I also hope that this prom will make me happier because this past year has not worked well in my favor,” senior Cameron Fields said.

Burns feels strongly that kids should have the option to take who they want to prom this year, and Altoona doesn’t provide that.

“Altoona allows this year’s seniors to go, but they won’t allow the kids to take who they want. They don’t permit the seniors to take past seniors or those kids of age from other schools to go to prom with them. Some parents and other people are hosting their prom and are only allowing those from the same schools to go together. This prom is different. Anyone from any school can go,” Burns said.

Still following the COVID-19 guidelines, Burns also feels that they should come as who they are while encouraging them to feel normal for once.

“This prom does not have a specific kind of theme, you can come as yourself. We would like for you to wear semi-formal or formal wear such as dresses and tux, but if not you can come as you are. We hope altogether that this prom will have fun, enjoy themselves and have some normalcy,” Burns said.

Garner and Burns are not gathering any kind of help from any school districts, while they are also not getting any sponsors whatsoever.

“We promoted this prom event through Facebook and we have done a lot by spreading the word in-person. While we do not have any sponsors, we are doing everything we can including paying some with our own money. We would appreciate it if we could get sponsors or donations. There’s going to be a photographer, DJ, different snack tables for chips, soda, water, etc. For extra or more information you can contact me or Amanda Garner through Facebook,” Burns said.

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