Possible plans for 2020 Prom arise

An ongoing conversation among students and their families has been whether or not Prom will take place this year due to the COVID-19 school cancellations.

The idea of a “Virtual Prom” has already made national news — communities banding together during this time of crisis to help students’ dreams come true in their last years of high school.

Many parents, including Amber Koshiol, are part of the USD 489 Parent Support Group on Facebook, which has been discussing the juniors and seniors who are “battling the disappointment” of missing out on coming-of-age events, such as Prom and Graduation.

Koshiol said she believes that these important activities should be postponed, not cancelled.

“I feel like after this is all over, we need to come together as parents and a community and make sure we give these kids the Prom and Graduation ceremony they deserve,” Koshiol said. “This may be months away, and I realize we have bigger things to worry about right now, but I have heard from so many of these kids how disappointed they are that they have been cheated out of them.”

Robin Otte, another member of the Parent Support Group who works at J Studio and Salon, offered up an idea in relation to Prom fashion.

“J Studio and Salon is working on doing an event where we donate hair and makeup and team up with a photographer to do photos and a possible runway show after all this has cleared up,” Otte said. “Guys are welcome, too. As of now, we are thinking of the second weekend in May. We will get info out as soon as we get it all nailed down.”

Students, like senior Tasiah Nunnery, are also taking matters into their own hands. Nunnery and her family have been working on creating an “Alternate Prom,” so to speak, to bring back the official dance that was cancelled.

The event will be at Westview Church. While a specific date has not been set yet due to the circumstances, Nunnery said she is aiming for hosting it at the end of May.

“[Junior] Brooklyn Schaffer said that a lot of the junior moms already had decorations, so I told her if they wanted to use the church, they could just bring the decorations out there, and we could all work together to make it a Prom we wouldn’t forget,” Nunnery said.

Julie Pfannenstiel, one of the sponsors for the school’s Prom, said that communication and consideration of any rules and deadlines the planning committee establishes is the key to getting the job done right.

“Everything needs to be designed and built prior to set-up time,” Pfannenstiel said. “Be sure more than one person knows what is planned to help communicate with others that want to help. Have one or two students, as well as a couple of adults, as ‘heads’ so everyone knows who to report to. Remember… less is better!”

If you would like to be a part of Nunnery’s planning committee, contact her at 785-639-1777.

Nunnery invites this year’s juniors and seniors to treat the event like a normal Prom: eat and get ready before, then come to the church to dance and have a good time.

“The way us seniors are ending our school year isn’t how we expected it,” Nunnery said. “There is so much we’re missing out on, so if I’m able to put together one last night for all of us to be together, I’m going to do it.”