Students in need will have an easier time dancing the night away at prom this year, thanks to a big-hearted teacher and three magnanimous students at Youngsville Area High School.
Youngsville teacher Rene Getner and students Julia Sveda, Victoria Haas and Mackenzie Pence are working to ensure prom night is a night to remember for all students regardless of how much they can afford to spend on it.
The group is asking for donations of dresses, shoes, jewelry, purses, tuxedos and money for things like flowers and clothing rentals.
Getner, Sveda, Haas and Pence are working to organize a prom drive to follow up on the success of Youngsville's first prom drive last year. According to Getner, last year's drive was able to help between 12 and 15 students ranging from those who needed just a pair of shoes or a dress to those who had nothing.
Getner noted local businesses helped make last year's drive a success citing Heaven Scent Flowers, which supplied flowers and tuxedo rentals at cost and Jarvis Cleaners, which provided free dry cleaning, in particular. She also pointed out the school's prom committee, under the direction of teacher Diane Swartz, donated free tickets to those students who otherwise would have missed their prom.
"The community was a huge help last year," Getner said.
According to Pence, she wanted to help the prom drive after seeing the stress prom costs can cause in a tight economy. She said watching those struggles inspired her to help.
"It's expensive and some people can't afford it," said Pence. "It's fun to help them to be able to go to prom."
Haas agreed, saying, "I've seen a lot of girls struggle. They have shoes but they don't have a dress or they have a dress and not everything else. It's really nice to be able to help."
The group will begin identifying students who need the help after the district's spring break from April 2 through 6. According to Getner, students can identify themselves as being in need or can be referred by classmates and faculty.
Getner said once Youngsville students have been identified, they'll be reaching out to other schools in the district and contacting principals to see if they have students who need a helping hand. She also asked anyone who knows someone in need to contact Youngsville.
"If there are other students around the county we'd like to help," said Getner.
The prom drive will take place at the high school on Thursday and Friday, April 13-14. During the drive, donations can be taken to the office at the high school.
Getner also noted those who would like to help, but can't make it during the two-day drive, can contact the school with questions and donations.
Prom will be held on Saturday, May 12, across the Warren County School District.