Members of the Shippensburg Area Senior High School Class of 2020 will be able to attend their farewell ball after all.
Thanks to efforts by a community prom committee headed by Amanda Ridgway of RE/MAX Prestige and the Shippensburg chamber board, and Tina and Brian Martin of Pinola Mulch, the graduates will be able to spend “An Evening Under the Stars,” for their senior prom from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, July 25, at Legacy Bridge Farm on Rowe Run Road in Chambersburg.
Principal Deborah Luffy noted the district planned to postpone its originally scheduled prom for later in June. However, because social distancing restrictions are still in place due to the coronavirus pandemic, the district opted to cancel the event altogether. She said it is nice that Ridgway and the Martins are planning the event, but it is not sponsored by the school district, and the district did not have anything more to share about it.
The Martins have donated the use of their new venue, Legacy Bridge Farm on Rowe Run Road in Chambersburg for the evening. However, funds are still needed to help the committee with other features of the prom, including a large tent that was rented from High Peak Tent Rentals in Carlisle.
Ridgway noted her company and The Martins have contributed funds, and are seeking help from the community. Ridgway estimates the prom will cost about $6,500 to pull off, which includes hiring a DJ from Electrolinear Entertainment of Hagerstown, a photo booth, food and decorations.
Ridgway noted the committee is still determining what food they can safely offer the students to keep them safe, and are hoping some local grocery stores will donate some food for the occasion.
Local photographer Mary Eutzy has offered to take photos for free. She will also offer packages for any seniors interested in purchasing extra photos.
Prom-goers and their parents will be required to sign liability forms prior to attending the event. Students are being charged $5 for admission, and tickets will soon be able to be purchased from Ridgway’s Molly Pitcher Highway office or the Shippensburg Area Chamber of Commerce on West King Street.
Other members of the prom committee include Tina and Brian’s daughter, Alexis Wenger, and her husband, Trent, and Alisha Smith. Some members of the Class of 2020 are also serving on the committee.
“I saw a post on Facebook that prom was canceled, and no one seemed to be stepping up as far as organizing things,” Ridgway noted.
She and the Martins collaborated to start organizing, and are hoping more community members will step up to the plate and help pull the event off.
“The kids have been so disappointed this year with not being able to finish the school year, or have sporting events or a proper graduation,” Ridgway added. “ We wanted to give them something to remember.”
Tina said she and Brian purchased Brian’s great-grandparents’ farm a few years ago, and Alexis and Trent were married there in August. They plan to turn it into a wedding venue for couples in the near future.
“My son’s girlfriend is a senior, and when they canceled prom, I saw that they were bummed out,” Tina said. “I told them if they cancel, we will do something here on the farm.”
Tina and Brian are high school sweethearts, and both graduated from Shippensburg.
“That was a big thing for us -- looking forward to going to the prom,” she said. “The kids have had so much disappointment this year, not just with prom and graduation, but also with sports and other events. I just feel like if there is something we can do to let them have a memorable senior year, we should just try and provide the farm for them.”
Tina said she hopes more members of the community will support the prom because it will take more people to help pull it off. There is a fund set up at Citizens Bank, 153 W. Orange St. in Shippensburg. Anyone wishing to donate may send contributions payable to Shippensburg Prom to the bank, or visit the bank and express your wish to contribute to the fund.
Donations may also be sent to The Martins at 8453 Rowe Run Road, Chambersburg, Pa. 17202.