ROCHELLE – With help from the community, Rochelle Township High School has thought of a way to provide its juniors and seniors with a modified prom experience, while following all CDC safety guidelines.
On Saturday, May 16, Rochelle Township High School will be hosting a virtual “Prom 2020 Revised,” which will include different prom activities for students to participate in. Several events are presented by local businesses, including SuperHits 93.5, Cypress House, Lifeworks Photography and Hicks BBQ.
While other activities are as simple as sharing a photo with the hashtag RTHSPROM2020, all activities can be completed from the safety of the student’s home. Planning the prom was done by the Junior Class Prom Committee, in effort to make prom as special as possible considering the situation.
“We tried our best to make this event as much fun and as special as possible,” said Mary Coglianese, junior class prom committee member. “Seeing that the circumstances we are all in right now, you can’t really do too much to all be together at once. So, we tried to find alternative ways to make it feel like we are all together.”
SuperHits 93.5 will broadcast the prom live from 6-7 p.m., playing a song list created by the 2020 prom committee as well as announcing the prom court nominees and winners. Students are currently in the process of voting via their Gmail accounts until May 5.
Prom court will be announced at 6:30 p.m., and at approximately 6:55 p.m., the senior class king and queen as well as junior class prince and princess winners will be announced. Listeners can tune in on the radio at 93.5 FM, online at www.superhits935.com, on Alexa or on the SuperHits 93.5 app for Android or IOS.
While everyone will be listening separately, #RTHSPROM2020 was created as a way for students to share their prom images and TikToks as if they were together. While the school is very sad its senior’s final prom won’t be traditional, they hope it will still be special.
“This is not what the students want, because of course they want to celebrate the event together,” said Amy Schweitzer, junior class prom advisor. “But at least we can come together as a community and hopefully have a positive impact.”
Other prom activities being offered are professional outdoor prom photo sets provided by Lifeworks Photography. Photo sets are $20, include three professional photos and can be set up by calling Danny Williams directly at 815-501-0150 and scheduling an appointment between May 1-13.
The Cypress House is also taking special prom orders between now and May 9, for any family that would like flowers as a keepsake. Orders can be placed by calling 815-562-4159 and will be available to pick up the day of the prom.
Finally, Hicks BBQ is hosting a drive-thru prom dinner fundraiser from 4-7 p.m., on the evening of the prom. Dinners cost $16 and will include half a chicken or a half rack of ribs, two sides and a dinner roll. Orders can be placed online at https://hicksq.square.site/, from now until May 13. 25 percent of all proceeds will be donated to help families in the community affected by COVID-19.
“Hicks BBQ is kind of the big event,” said Schweitzer. “They were planned to cater the event this year and have graciously volunteered to do their drive-thru dinner. Our goal is to sell 500 meals, which would allow $2,000 worth of proceeds to come back to the community.”
While this may be different than the traditional prom, both students and staff are excited for everyone to connect virtually. At first many seniors were sad about missing their final prom but understand that it is for their own safety and are grateful to still be able to celebrate.
Many juniors and seniors already had their outfit planned out and paid for, so this is one way for them to still get to show it off. Students already have plans to post pictures and videos online using the school hashtag.
“I know that a few girls on the committee as well as other girls have been putting together a video to showcases our prom dresses using TikTok,” said Coglianese. “We are going to put it on Facebook and Instagram as well as send it to Mrs. Schweitzer. Another group of senior girls is making a video as well, since they can’t do it in person.”