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Prom season begins for Fay-West schools

| Friday, May 2, 2014, 5:18 p.m.
Marilyn Forbes | for the Daily Courier
Geibel prom committee members Kennedy Scarry, 17, and Catie Hamel, 17, work on the favors the group made for the special night.

Elaborate dresses, flowers, tuxedos, limousines — all signs prom season is underway in the Fay-West region.

The next few weekends the long-awaited events many teens look forward to every year will be held at area high schools.

“Not only is the prom a big social event for the students, but it is also a learning experience for the students,” Connellsville Area Senior High School prom faculty adviser Carol Kirk said. “We have high expectations for the prom attendees. They must follow the rules of proper etiquette.

“Students may not wear hats at the prom and they may not remove their formal attire, only jackets. They must stay dressed up the whole evening.”

The cost of attending prom has risen over the years, but nationally has gone down 14 percent from 2013, dropping from $1,139 to $978; still high for the average family to absorb, according to reports.

“The cost is something that has changed over the years,” Mt. Pleasant prom faculty adviser Betty Jo Breakiron said. “It seems to go up every year and that can make it difficult.”

Most schools have prom committees that host fundraisers throughout the year to help defray the cost of tickets to attend the event.

“We try to keep the cost under $100,” Geibel prom faculty adviser Scott Procko said. “We want them to have a nice evening that is at a reasonable cost.”

Many schools host candy and cookie sales, sell wreaths, or hold raffles to generate funds.

Some schools take students to venues for dinner, dancing and entertainment. Several schools raise additional funds to cover the cost of special additions to the evening.

“It's $100 a couple and that pays for the meal only,” Kirk said. “We fundraise to pay for the coach buses, photo booth, DJ, and gifts for the prom attendees. We had fundraisers to sell Yankee candles, Fun Pasta, Bon-Ton Community Day Booklets, and our annual powderpuff game.

“We usually have the Mr. Irresistible contest to contribute money, but this year the boys involved decided to donate the money they raised to the Jace Luczka Memorial Scholarship,” she added.

All the area schools are holding grand marches, inviting the public, family and friends to see the students in their finest wear.

The proms are planned by special committees, which set the theme, raise funds to keep the cost down, and volunteer their time to decorate and make favors for the guests.

“They saw those (favors) in a book and decided that they could make them themselves,” Procko said of the glasses Geibel students made that resemble a tuxedo for the boys and gowns for the girls. They will be distributed to each student attending prom.

“They saved themselves a lot of money by making them and they turned out nice. We just want everyone to have a nice memorable evening.”

Marilyn Forbes is a contributing writer.

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