Senior class celebrates prom
When the seniors and their guests gathered at Iron Lakes Country Club last Sunday, spirits were high as they greeted each other dressed like movie stars on a set of black and gold.
“Everyone looked stunning! The food was delicious, the setting was beautiful, and the storms stayed away,” said Nicole Zimmerman, co-adviser for the Class of 2019. “The air conditioning system could not keep up with all of their energy and incredible dance moves.”
The venue set the stage for an evening of friendship and fun for the 238 students who attended.
“I do think we had a pretty substantial number of our senior class,” Chris Hippensteel, class secretary, said.
Out of 192 seniors, 172 purchased tickets for themselves and their guests.
In addition to reveling at the newly renovated facility, guests wandered outdoors to enjoy the warm night.
“It was really nice,” Nolan Hernandez, class president said. “People liked the landscape and the general placement of the patio by the pond.”
“The outside sections overlooked the pond where there were tables for our use,” Zach Creighton, vice president, said. “They just renovated it in the last three months.”
As part of the three-entrée dinner buffet, prom-goers dined on penne, spinach and red pepper Asiago with cream sauce, sautéed lemon garlic chicken francaise and tenderloin tips of beef.
Vegetables included julienne vegetable straws, mashed potato cheddar and salad.
“We have an ice cream bar as well,” Hernandez said.
DJ Smooth delivered the music.
“We’ve been using him for homecoming and proms in the past,” Jeanelle Klegovitz, the other co-adviser said. “Dan’s Camera was there to take pictures and print them right away for us.”
The prints could find the way into this year’s prom favor, a picture frame, a fitting memento, along with an embossed gold metal key chain that served as the actual prom ticket.
A few hours before sunset, some prom-goers arrived in pairs while others arrived in groups.
“I’ve never been to [a prom] so it was exciting to go with a friend,” said Stephanie Moneymaker, who was escorted by Creighton.
Junior Michael Rebert was happy to be going to the prom with his girlfriend, Claire Wessner.
“She asked me with a sign at lunch a few weeks ago,” he said. “It said ‘busted down at prom with me’ with a question [mark].”
Many seniors attended the prom with a group of friends.
“It’s the end of high school and a nice time for all of us to be together one last time,” Valerie Leith said. “Even though I played lacrosse in the ‘bubble’ for indoor sports at Iron Lakes, I’d never been inside.”
“I’m driving with my twin sister, Christina,” Kaitlin Turk said, a few days before the prom. “We’re all going to meet up with a bunch of friends.”
The prom was especially memorable for exchange student Andrea Danic. “I just went with a bunch of friends, about 20 of them,” she said.
Before the big night, she said, “I’m going to get my hair done and then I’m going to my friend’s house where she’s going to do my make-up, and then we’re going to meet at Trexler Park before going to the actual prom.”
Backstage, leading up to the prom premiere, the advisers worked closely with the class officers for months.
“They did a lot of work behind the scenes in terms of paperwork and other tasks that usually go unnoticed,” Hippensteel said. “We never had issues with their choices, and we all discussed them [before] we made really good decisions.”
In comparing Blue Mountain and Iron Lakes, the class officers decided unanimously on the latter last spring.
“The [people at Iron Lakes] were very good to work with,” explained Zimmerman. “We requested pictures of what the renovation would look like, so the officers had an idea before they made the final decision.
“They liked the location and the fact that there [would be] only one event at the venue for the night. “
“Generally, everyone seemed happy with everything,” Hippensteel said. “We took a lot of advice from the female constituents of our class.”
While the class officers were busy with prom planning, promgoers were busy searching for the perfect attire for the festivities.
“I’ve been pretty busy [taking] five AP tests in the last few weeks,” said Creighton. That’s why he ordered his tuxedo from an online vendor called Black Tux.
Ironically, his date for the prom did the same. Her dress came from Windsor, an on- line vendor.
“Zach actually got his tux first, so I had to match him,” Moneymaker said with a smile.
“I went to multiple places but couldn’t find any that I liked. I kind of had it in my mind to have a navy dress so that limited the options.”
Rebert wore a dark gray tuxedo from CE Roth.
“The vest is maroon to go with [Claire’s] dress,” he said.
“I’m excited to share the night with my girlfriend.”
Leith purchased her dress at David’s Bridal.
“It’s black on the top with spaghetti straps and the skirt has blue and purple flowers.”
The twins did not wear the same styled prom dress.
“We were about six when we stopped matching,” she said. “I liked pink, she liked blue. Our outfits were similar but not matching because my mom wanted us to have unique personalities.”
Their prom dresses looked nothing alike.
“Hers has solid pink lacy top and a skirt of pink and purple flowers,” Turk said. “Mine is a high low dress in navy blue with a see-through silky skirt.
“The top is a heart shape with glitter and netting and a flower pattern along the neckline and a bodice [trimmed] with rhinestones.”
They purchased their dresses at Macy’s in the mall.
Proms are expensive ventures, but treasurer Derek Holmes and the other officers made finances a priority.
“Financially speaking, we’re in good shape,” Zimmerman said. “The prom is paid for already, between class dues and fundraising. Tickets for students who didn’t pay dues or fundraiser were $80 per person.”
“We’re still settling some of the details so were looking to where we’ll allocate the rest [of our funds],” Hernandez said.
Zimmerman attended the prom with her husband Jason Zimmerman, Northwestern’s athletic director.
The couple served as chaperones for the evening along with a cadre of administrators, teachers and staff.
“It’s been really exciting planning with the class that I started here with [and] planning the final event before graduation,” Zimmerman said. “I’m very happy for them and all their success but certainly sad to see them go.”
Feelings were definitely running high before the prom for a variety of reasons.
“It’s our birthday on the 24th,” Turk said. “So it’s also kind of sad because this is the last birthday we’re going to have together.”
“[Christina is] going to Juniata in Harrisburg and I’m going to Penn State in Pittsburgh,” she said. “I want to do nursing and she wants to travel. She’s already got a scholarship to study in Austria.”
For Danic the prom will also be a cultural experience.
“We do have a prom but it’s not that big a deal,” she said.
“America is so big that you may never meet up with your classmates, but Croatia isn’t that big.”
“The prom is like a big good-bye,” Danic said. “I’ve made so many friends. Spending time with them will be fun.”
“It’s just one last thing we get to do as a class,” Hippensteel said. “We’re closer than most classes. We’ve gotten more cohesive as we’ve grown, and this was a final event for us to share.”