ALPENA - The Alpena High School Leadership class has been working dilligently since Thursday morning to prepare the APlex for an evening of delicious food, elegant dress and lasting memories. The class started preparing for prom in January, after the senior planning team picked out the theme of a Masquarade for the event, and with a fixed budget, design and construction of decorations was a must.
"The class had a big decision to make right away whether to hold the before-prom dinner or not," leadership teacher Jessica Prittie said. "They decided the dinner was an important part of prom, and from there they had a lot of fundraising to do."
Students raised just over $3,000 with the help of local businesses and donations from the community, allowing them to offer a buffet style dinner with Jimmy Chen and Ray Bak preparing the meal.
"They have been great to work with," student Emily Cloft said. "They are donating their silverware and dishware and their time, and we are paying for the food. We plan to have two buffets set up for everyone who attends the dinner."
Keeping with the theme of masquerade, the leadership class put their design skills together with local designers Amanda Stewart and Jeanne Cornelius to come up with crafted decorations and save some money on their budget.
"We bought fringe curtains and fashioned the palm trees, made all of the centerpieces with feathers, masks and a little bit of imagination," Cloft said. "The evening is going to be very elegant, and we will have masks here for people, and a photo booth for fun photos."
Prittie said the students really put a lot of thought into the design of the hallways, bathrooms and large room to make it all come together.
"The class knows what a big deal prom is and they want it to be perfect for their peers," Prittie said. "They want everything to be just right from the dinner to the decorations. They are using all different types of decorations like masks, glitter and feathers to really glam the place up."
There will be an open house to view the fine work of the leadership class and community volunteers on Saturday from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. at the APlex.
"Everyone in the community is invited to come in and look at the hard work this class has done to put together a great prom night," Prittie said. "The decorations are spectacular and it's really amazing what they did working on such a tight budget. They learned so much this year organizing prom and fundraising, and really became thrifty and smart with how they budgeted their funds for the dance."
Many sponsors were involved to make the event possible, and the three biggest sponsors, LaFarge, Big Boy and Boyne Resorts, will have their names on the prom tickets for the night. All other sponsors will be represented at the event with their names on a sponsor board as a thank you for helping prom take place.
Nicole Grulke can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5687. Follow Nicole on Twitter @ng_alpenanews.