HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Holyoke High School North staff had to make a difficult decision on Monday to cancel the school’s Junior/Senior Prom.
One parent, Nicha Velez found out about the cancellation from her son Miguel Dailey who is an 11th grader and a school email. Velez says she couldn’t understand why the prom was no longer happening.
“Miguel was so excited because he wasn’t sure if he was even going to his prom because I had been struggling with catching up with bills and everything else which gave me anxiety about my son not being able to attend because the tickets are $60.00,” Velez said. “I even asked close friends and family to help me purchase my son’s ticket and shoes and clothes and whatever else he needs. I already had saved a bit myself and I managed to find a beautiful outfit. He was so happy he had a glow on his face.”
Velez couldn’t bear to see her son sad and heartbroken with hurt in his eyes. “It breaks my heart for him and other parents and their babies I feel like every day was a countdown of excitement with each day getting closer to this exciting event and I want to know how this could happen,” she said.
Both students and parents were looking forward to attending the prom on January 20th but Holyoke High’s Principal Lori McKenna told 22News there appeared to be insufficient ticket sales. “Only 90 tickets had been sold by the purchase deadline of January 5, which was less than half the number of tickets needed to cover prom costs,” said McKenna. “We know this is a huge disappointment for the students who planned to participate and who may have already purchased dresses or rented formal attire to wear for the occasion.”
The school staff plans to meet with student leaders and class advisors on Thursday, January 12 to discuss suggestions for alternative events. Even though high school juniors won’t be able to attend, plans are being moved forward for the Senior Prom in May, according to McKenna.