The Grade 12 class in Tillsonburg worked hard to organize a 2020 prom, but due to COVID-19, it did not happen. And it won’t be happening in the fall as a homecoming prom.
“At first it was really disappointing, really stressful,” said Emma Chevers, a member of Tillsonburg’s prom committee, recalling the last months of the 2020 school year. “It was almost there, we were like two months away. Then, I don’t want to say people got over it, but…”
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“For me it was like when COVID first started happening there was this BIG grasp of faith and hope that something would happen,” said Mackenize Squires, Tillsonburg prom committee. “And then time went on and eventually, for me at least, it came to a point where I was like, ‘It’s about the safety of our community.’ Our community is in need of help – and they helped us when we needed it the most. It’s our job to help them when they need it. That’s my point of view on the whole thing.”
There were 166 graduating students in the Tillsonburg high school Grade 12 class. Not all of them would have been participating in the 2020 prom, but the prom committee considered one option of dividing the up the remaining funds (after committing the non-refundable bus funds to the 2021-22 and 2022-23 prom committees) for all of the graduating students, which would have been about $90 to 100 per student. Instead, four fundraisers and charitable organizations in the community were selected.
“The community definitely helped us, we wouldn’t have the money without the community,” said Chevers.
“Yeah, it’s not really our money to pocket,” said Squires. “It came from the community, so it should go back to the community.”
Keith Beres of Sammy Krenshaw’s was also given an honourable mention at the August 19th cheque presentations to community groups and fundraisers.
“He was somebody that put in a lot of time and a lot of effort and who supported us through… a lot of stuff,” said prom committee member Rachel Wilson. “His whole business, Sammy Krenshaw’s, a big amount of our money came from that (dance fundraisers) and he did not have to do it – and he has for multiple years.”