Many seniors look forward to prom, but Hurricane Sandy did so much damage to Channel View School for Research in Rockaway Beach -- and the area around it -- that it looked as if prom were off. However, senior Kristine Supple and other students have turned to Crowdrise to see if they can raise enough money to have a prom.
Photo: Kristine, in a white t-shirt, posing with the Operation Prom team and New York senator Joseph Addabbo. (Kristine Supple)
So far about $6,500 has been raised, but they’re hoping to raise a total of $11,000 to make this dance happen. We wanted to learn more about this unique way of having a prom, and how you can help Channel View have a night to remember. So we talked to Kristine for more deets on the prom fundraiser and other ways you can keep helping with Sandy relief. You can also check out her vid below:
+ Watch Channel View Prom Wish
ACT: How did you come up with the idea of crowdfunding to get a prom?
KRISTINE: Channel View was actually approached by Operation Prom; they are an organization that helps seniors in need be able to have a prom. After they found out about how we were affected by Sandy (forced to switch schools for two months and displaced from our homes), they were glad to help.
ACT: What will the money you raise go towards?
KRISTINE: Our goal is $11,000. This will pay for our tickets the night of prom. The tickets are $150 a person and there are 88 seniors, so this will help cover our expenses. So far we have raised almost $6,500 and we hope to reach our goal by May 29th (prom night). Operation Prom has actually offered every senior girl at Channel View the opportunity to go and pick out a prom dress from their donated dresses. They also partnered with Men’s Wearhouse and the chain is allowing the boys to go and rent a free tuxedo for prom night.
It’s a great help because, honestly, a lot of us do not have the money to put down for dresses and tuxes or even limos. We have other financial problems at home after the storm and prom is one of the many senior activities that is not at the top of our parents’ list of things to pay for. So we are trying to get others to help us have one night to forget about the storm and everything negative that has happened and just have fun, and have a night to remember forever.
Photo: Channel View seniors who want a night to remember! (Kristine Supple)
ACT: How can people give to this if they can’t afford to give money? Can they Tweet about it, etc.?
KRISTINE: Yes, our main goal is to just spread the word. We understand that a lot of people, especially in today’s economy, do not have money to donate. But we are asking for any bit of help. Every penny counts. If they share the video on Facebook or Tweet it, maybe someone could see it that could help us and make even a little donation. So we just want to get the word out.
Photo: Some of the hurricane damage in Kristine's 'hood, Rockaway in Queens, NY. (Philip Hinds)
ACT: Do you have a “prom song” or band you’d especially love to have at your prom?
KRISTINE: We don’t have a prom song, or a specific band, but we are a diverse group of teens and we love all types of music and all different artists. But in the video we used the song “Home” by Phillip Phillips because that really represented how our homes (personal and school) were destroyed. But we can’t lose hope because we will rebuild and we will learn and become stronger from this. Also, a majority of us listen to Drake, J. Cole and artists similar to them.
ACT: How is Rockaway doing? Do you think the boardwalk will be ready for the summer?
KRISTINE: Rockaway in general is a very tight and strong community. We've had a rough couple of months but we are getting back. We just recently celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in Rockaway and had a parade to show that we might have had a little “sand in our shoes,” but that won’t stop us. We are “Rockaway Strong.” It has been said that Rockaway beaches will open this summer with the same amount of lifeguards, but the boardwalk will not be complete.
ACT: Are there other ways people can help with Sandy relief in your area?
KRISTINE: Besides not being able to personally volunteer, there have been many organizations in Rockaway that arrived after the storm and have helped so much. Some still continue to. Occupy Sandy has been a huge help and still continues to be.