Do you remember high school prom? Popular music filled the room as students awkwardly watched the dance floor, waiting for someone bold enough to rush into the center and kick off the dancing. No one wanted to be the first one out there risking humiliation. But at the prom for Life Skills students on Wednesday, May 29, there was no embarrassment or standing on the sidelines. Before lunch even started, the students hit the dance floor prompting DJ Mike Ley of Marquee Wedding Company to switch from classical entry music to upbeat dance music. Hello Productions’ director of marketing and events, Colleen Geletko, donated her time to plan this memorable event that the students will never forget.
Each year, a new district takes on the task of funding, planning and executing the event. In the past, the prom took place in the school’s gym with lunch provided by the cafeteria and entertainment by the staff. This year, Elizabeth Forward wanted to enhance the experience to be more like a high school prom, so they turned to Colleen for assistance.
Colleen began planning the event in January 2013. She quickly found support from vendors who donated the most classic elements of a prom, including a beautiful venue, DJ, florals, entertainment and magic. Staff and administrators solicited monetary support for the event as well.
The magic began for many of the female students in March, when they got the chance to visit Allegheny County’s Project Prom store and select beautiful evening gowns and accessories. District staff and students provided male students with sharp suits.
After months of anticipation, the big day finally arrived for the students!
Some Prom Highlights
1. Image One Salon and South Hills & North Hills Beauty Academy visited the school districts in the morning and pampered the students. Male students received haircuts, and female students had their hair styled formally and make up applied.
2. One school district rented a black stretch limo for the students!
3. When they arrived at the prom, each student received a colorful boutonniere or corsage that was designed by Dragonfly Florist.
4. Nothing beat seeing the students’ faces light up when they entered Bella Sara and saw the stunning Tuscan inspired venue! Cathedral ceilings, accent lighting and round tables covered with candlelit centerpieces made for a beautiful afternoon.
5. The students enjoyed a delicious Italian lunch, followed by chocolate cake or a treat from the smoothie bar.
6. With a student’s help, Comedy Magician Lee Terbosic made a table fly around the room.
7. Josh Mariana Photography set up a photo booth. Students, decked out in party hats and neon sunglasses, gathered in the booth and struck fun poses.
8. A student from each school was recognized on the Congeniality Court. The winners were selected in advance by a vote from their peers.
9. Then dancing, of course! Students spent hours party-rocking on the dance floor.
10. Local media outlets showed up to cover the prom and interview students. Every student who was interviewed said that they were having an amazing time at the prom!
Colleen’s dedication to planning an unforgettable event definitely paid off! Reaching out to vendors and media outlets, purchasing event supplies and working with Elizabeth Forward faculty was definitely a time commitment, but she loved every minute of it. She hopes to assist next year’s district and continue this caliber of event for subsequent years.