Long Island community puts on prom to remember for local high school students

Kristin Thorne Image
Monday, June 21, 2021
Community puts on prom to remember for local high school students
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Kristin Thorne reports on the town of Patchogue on Long Island coming together to put on a prom for students.

PATCHOGUE, Long Island (WABC) -- The entire Patchogue-Medford community came out on Monday to give their local high school students a prom to remember after a year-and-a-half of school event cancellations.

Officials in Patchogue shut down two blocks of downtown Main Street for students at Patchogue-Medford High School to celebrate the prom.

Students were treated to music, games and entertainment. Local restaurants provided food for the students.

"It's a shining example of what, you know, Main Street American can be," said Garrett Comanzo, Assistant Principal of the High School.

Students, the Patchogue Chamber of Commerce, the Patchogue-Medford School District, as well as the Village mayor were involved in the planning, which began back in November. A GoFundMe campaign generated $10,000 for the event.

Students met at the high school around 5 p.m. on Monday, boarded buses, and then had a "mock-tail" hour at a park in Medford. A live musician played music and a professional photographer took pictures of the students. The students then boarded the buses and went to downtown Patchogue.

They stepped off the buses onto a red carpet where parents and family members were allowed to take pictures of the students. They then processed down the red carpet onto Main Street.

Prom organizers said 480 tickets were sold for the event.

Earlier in the day, some students were able to have their hair and makeup done for free at a pop-up salon at Patchogue Arts Council. The services were provided by Waves Salon in Sayville.

"Everyone deserves to kind of, you know, be feeling glamorous and be made to feel beautiful," said Joanna Hugasian, owner of Waves Salon. "That's our job and we're happy to help them."

Jessica Valentin with the Patchogue Arts Council said the organization was happy to be involved with the prom.

"It's a huge rite of passage," she said. "We wanted to be able to do a little something to make their day brighter."

Student Jostin Zambrana had his hair done at the Arts Council and thanked everyone who was involved in putting on the prom.

"I think this is something seniors definitely deserve," he said.

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