Though the pandemic has not allowed for a complete return to normalcy, mothers of Yankton High School (YHS) seniors have organized to give this year’s class a normal prom.
A dinner and a dance for seniors only (and their dates) will be held on Saturday, April 24, from 6-10 p.m. at 2300 E. 15 Street in Yankton. Maximum guest age is 20. Doors will close at 7:30 p.m. for the duration of the event and no re-entry is permitted. Masks and social distancing are not required, but students or parents will have to sign a waiver.
YHS will be hosting the Grand March and the Parents’ Association will hold the After Prom Party, but no other activities were planned in between, until now.
Prom was completely canceled last year by the COVID-19 pandemic and many other events have not yet returned to normal.
In early February, Yankton High School (YHS) parent Stacey Renken heard that YHS would likely not be having the traditional prom dinner and dance.
“Then and there, I personally decided that with my daughter, being a senior and not getting to experience prom last year, there was no way that was going to happen this year,” she said. “I got another mom, Dawn Newman, and we went to the school to ask what their plans were.”
Renken and Newman let administrators know that if there were no plans to celebrate prom for the seniors, they would likely come up with a prom event that would not be affiliated with the district, Renken said.
“We ran with it from there and, within the next couple of days, I had a committee of 11 moms and we got the ball rolling right away,” she said. “Though it’s 100% a team effort, planning prom is a lot harder than we thought,” Renken said.
The event will feature a dance floor, a DJ and an eating area with a buffet meal, Renken said.
“The theme is ‘A Night in the City,’ so they’ll have a very nice table setting with lots of glitter and sequins, golds and silvers and lots and lots of lights,” she said. “We’ve ordered amazing backdrops, too. We’re just trying to make this amazing for these kids.”
All the feedback has so far been positive and the community has been generous with donations, with people even approaching her at other events and making spontaneous cash donations, Renken said.
Given the spirit of the event, the admission fee has intentionally been kept low and the group is planning to donate anything left over from the event, she said.
“Everybody deserves a prom, if they choose to embrace it,” Renken said. “These kids didn’t get one last year, so we’re going above and beyond just to make it a magical night that they will always, always remember.”
The list of donors includes: Charles and Nancy Larsen; Vision Care Associates; 1st Dakota National Bank; Stockmen’s Livestock — Greg Ryken; Kolberg Pioneer; Prom Committee; Meridian Rentals — Larry Nickles; Tommy Frick-Frito Lay; Ace Hardware; Dakota Drywall — Carl Livingston; Janet Stark — Anna Lynne Claire; JJ Benji’s Embroidery; The Fox Stop; C&C Concrete — Chad and Kristen Masson; Midwest Hearing Works — Matt and Kari Rumsey; Heather Lacroix; Evan and Marilyn Johnson; Jay and Kathy Fitzgerald; Dan and Kelly Rafferty; Nature Landscaping — Nick and Laura Westergaard; Kevin and Amber Moe; Todd and Bobbi Jo Carr; Fastenal; Kynan and Nancy Trail; Minervas Grill and Bar; Devin and Anna Bakley; Rob and Lori Stephenson; Kyle and Kristi Kosmatka; Bob and Kelly Vornhagen; Nina Wright; Jeff and Jane Bochman; Tony and Lisa Erickson; Chad and Jenny Kapala; Brett and Tanya Hacecky; Gregg and Connie Husman; Mike and Stephanie Burgeson; Wayne and Joleen Williamson; Tom Stanage; Walmart; Larsen Carpet; and Buhl’s Cleaners.
For more information or to make a donation, contact Stacey Renken via Facebook or call her at 605-661-6459.