JOHNSTON, Iowa – Johnston High School seniors raise money to host their own prom, after district had to cancel theirs due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Johnston Community Schools originally had its junior-senior prom scheduled for May 2nd, but decided it wasn’t worth the risk.
Johnston Community Schools Communication’s Director Laura Dillavou Sprague said, “It really is due to the healthy safety and well-being of all of our students. Even though it was a really tough choice we know that this is such a big thing and event.”
High School Senior Cal Killian, Austin Nanke, Parker Shupe and Caden Steck decided they didn’t want to miss out on a traditional high school experience, so they started raising money to Fund their own.
Austin Nanke said, “We thought about different ways you know how to fund the money, because we’re looking at a pretty hefty budget of $15,000 so we didn’t just want to donate it to prom. We also wanted to make it about the kids in Iowa City who have gone through a lot worse.”
The students have created a GoFundMe and are selling “Iowave” t-shirts to raise the money. Half of the donations from both sales will be going to the University of Iowa’s Stead Family Children’s Hospital.
“We really wanted to make it about them, so that’s why we are donating half of our proceeds from the GoFundMe and the t-shirt sales to the kids in Iowa City,” Nanke said.
The students estimate around $15,000 will be needed to cover the costs of having a prom.
High School Senior Cal Killian said, “We looked in to how much it would cost to rent out an area, how much it would cost for a DJ, and we looked into what the school did in the past and about how much that would cost.”
Sprague said if the school reopens in May and prom fits in the school-year calendar the district will have a prom.
“If we are in a place where we are back in school and the safe guidelines indicate we can have that many kids together in one spot we would definitely try to pull something together. It may not be the prom they have experienced in the past or something like that, but we would try to do something,” Sprague said.
If the district decides to reschedule prom all the money raised will go to the University of Iowa’s Stead Family Children’s Hospital.
The students hope to have their prom at the end of June if social gatherings are once again allowed.
Killian plans to play football at Northwest Missouri State, Nanke plans to play football at Minnesota State, Shupe plans to play baseball at Kirkwood and Steck plans to play baseball at Northeast CC in the fall of 2020.