Prom season is in full effect but the students of Channel View School for Research in Rockaway Beach were worried they wouldn't be able to afford a prom because of the damage Hurricane Sandy did to their neighborhood.
So they decided to take action. Senior Kristine Supple and other students turned to crowdfunding to see if they could make prom happen.
We interviewed Kristine when she was helping get this project off the ground. Not only did the students meet their goal amount of $11,000, but they’ve gone over! Insert Emoji applauding hands! With prom definitely happening on May 29 for the students, we got an update from Kristine on her project's happy ending and how you can help future students get a prom.
Photo: These Channel View seniors are gonna have a night to remember! (Kristine Supple)
ACT: How did it go — raising money for prom?
KRISTINE: I was shocked at how fast we raised the money. At first I couldn't believe we raised $1,000, but then to see it go to $5,000 was amazing. When we hit $11,000, I couldn't believe it. Now that we actually exceeded our goal, it is a great feeling to know that people went out of their way to help us in any way they could. It is truly a blessing.
Walking around Rockaway, we were spreading the word about the YouTube video. When I would explain what we were doing, people were amazed, saying, “That’s great,” or “Good job,” and “I would love to help.” Even though the people in Rockaway really didn’t have that much to help, they found people who did, and it's because of everyone’s help and generosity we are now able to have every senior at our prom. It will be a night to remember.
+ Watch Channel View HS's Prom Wish Video.
ACT: Do you have any fun events planned for your prom?
KRISTINE: So far we are just excited to be able to get dressed up and go and have fun and dance. We were told Operation Prom had a surprise for us. We don’t know what it is but we are all VERY excited about it!
ACT: What are you looking forward to on prom night?
KRISTINE: I am looking forward to getting ready. Of course, every girl is excited to get their hair and makeup done (and being able to put on their dress and look like a princess). I’m also looking forward to being able to have fun with everyone there that night. Just dance and have a good time and not worry about having a test or homework or anything going on at home. We can be able to forget about everything for the night.
Photo: Get it, gurl! Kristine and her classmates made prom happen for their senior class. (Kristine Supple)
ACT: What are ways people can help?
KRISTINE: People can help by continuing to support Operation Prom. They are an amazing organization that helps make a difference. People might think, “Ohh, it’s just your prom,” but it's more than that. If you ask your parents or older siblings about their prom night, I can guarantee they remember it. To everyone, prom is a night to remember, and it is a very expensive thing, so nothing should stop someone from going because they can’t afford it or their parents just don’t have the money.
ACT: Since we last spoke, are there any additional ways we can help with Sandy relief in the area? Do things seem to be getting better?
KRISTINE: Things are definitely getting better. They have started SOME of the work to get the boardwalks back up. Many of the stores are reopened and people are still doing work on their homes. They have even started rebuilding the homes that were affected by the fires.
People that have come down here recently have looked around and said, “Oh my God!” But I look at them and say, “You should have seen it before.” We are back to some type of “normal.” We are back in our regular school and the streets are cleaned up, and we are just going day by day, little by little, trying to get everything back to the way it was before Sandy. Like I said before, we are Rockaway Strong. We are a community that helps each other; we are from a place where everyone knows everyone, and it is a family community. You can ride your bike around Rockaway at any time and you know just about everyone. We look after each other, and we will become stronger from this!