No Prom? No Problem! See How One Town Celebrated The Class Of 2020
With schools still closed, they wanted to do something special to let their seniors know they care. So, they brought the prom to them!
Going to a high school dance can be awkward. The formal wear, posing for photos, the hovering parents – it can all be a little intimidating.
But having the prom come to you? Now that's a different story.
That's exactly what seniors from Carlisle High School in Pennsylvania experienced on Saturday when 'Prom on Wheels' rolled through their neighborhoods.
The idea was brought to life by Carlisle resident Preston Griffin and his wife Bailey, who just wanted to do something nice for the students whose last year of high school has been anything but normal.
The Griffins work with teens at "Young Life," a non-denominational youth ministry in central PA. When the coronavirus forced schools to close and all senior events to be canceled, they came up with a safe and fun way to make sure the students got a chance to celebrate the rite of passage.
"Let's make a parade of it, almost Mardi Gras style," Preston told ABC News of his 'Prom on Wheels' idea.
The Griffins rented a pick-up truck and booked a professional photographer and a DJ (aptly named DJ "Face Mask"). They got a handful of local businesses to chip in to create a socially-distant party on wheels, where they would drive around and visit each of the student's homes and play songs they requested ahead of time.
"We want them to feel celebrated in what might seem like a season of loss." Griffin said. "They are all queens and kings for the evening."
The seniors celebrated their prom right in their front yards. Michelle Ocampo Photographer/Facebook
Over 70 high schoolers signed up for the event, and on the day of the prom they all got dressed up and danced on their front lawns as Griffin and DJ Face Mask drove past their homes. The students received crowns from Burger King and a local florist provided flowers that became corsages and boutonnières.
"It was such a magical moment and it really brightened my day," student Heidi Heinlein said.
A local Burger King provided crowns so that every student could be queen or king for the night. Michelle Ocampo Photographer/Facebook
"We could hear the honking, siren and music before the car arrived," she said. "My boyfriend and I were waiting for them outside and my whole family came out to celebrate."
Some of the seniors jumped in their own cars and followed Griffin and DJ Face Mask as they visited the rest of the homes on their route. At one point, there were 15 cars trailing Griffin's truck.
"This is hands down the best prom ever," Senior Sydney Harrell said. "It was so wonderful to drive up and see friends you haven't seen since school suddenly ended."
Students danced in their yards as the Prom on Wheels rolled down thier streets, playing their requested songs. Michelle Ocampo Photographer/Facebook
Along with the students, parents and families clapped from their porches as the Prom on Wheels rolled down their streets. Even the local cops, who Griffin thought might put a stop to their fun, turned on their sirens when they passed by to celebrate the class of 2020.
"Saturday was an incredible testament of the celebration and the fullness of life that happens when we love our neighbors and we come together as a community," Griffin said.
While they might not have gotten the prom they thought they would, we're sure the seniors will never forget their Prom on Wheels.
The community wanted to make sure the seniors didn't feel forgotten. Michelle Ocampo Photographer/Facebook