With a school event in doubt, community members help give local students a night to remember

Local News

MARSHALL, Il (WTWO/WAWV) — As the academic school year wraps up in Illinois, seniors in Marshall were able to experience an event many doubted would happen.

For the class of 2021, it was an academic year that included many popular student events being canceled. Douglas Ross, a senior at M.H.S., knew his last prom was one decision away from being in that category.

“It’s nothing that anyone wants to hear. You kind of think about it and you’re like senior year isn’t going to live up to what I want it to be,” Ross said.

Agreeing with Ross, was fellow classmate Scott Kosloff.

“Oh yeah, 100% it was a big let down. That’s what every senior or every kid in high school looks forward to; to go to prom and have fun with their friends. I was definitely sad about it,” Kosloff said.

Administrators with the Marshall School District were left with a difficult decision to make due to COVID-19 protocols; host an improvised prom or cancel the event?

Upon hearing this, Angel Sanders and other parents stepped up.

“We just kind of took a load off and said, “if the parents would plan a prom, would that take some of the pressure off the school?” The school’s hands were tied,” Sanders said.

After discussing the proposal, the school approved the idea of junior and senior parents hosting an independent version of prom.

After weeks of hard work, an idea became a reality with a promenade, dinner, and a dance at Castle Finn Winery.

“Obviously, all proms are really good and awesome. But, I think we’re definitely a little extra excited for this one. Our parents are putting it one so there’s a little extra love going into it. It’s exciting,” Maya Osborn, a Marshall High School Senior, said.

From local vendors assisting, to students getting photographs taken for free, Sanders said this event wouldn’t have been possible without the community.

“There really was no question about getting it done and making it happen. It’s just taken a whole lot of us to make it happen. Tonight, we just get to celebrate,” Sanders said.

A school year described by seniors as unpredictable, here’s how they say they’ll remember it.

“Nobody could have predicted the pandemic or the school year. Looking back on it now, it’s been one of the best years,” Ross said.

One senior said he’ll remember getting to be around his friends again after months of not seeing them.

“I’m a social person and not getting to be around my friends would have been hard. So, it was just super great being around Douglas and a bunch of my other friends,” Aaron Richey said.

Lastly, Megan Frazer said she embraced the change.

“I don’t think I would change a single thing. Honestly, everything happens for a reason. This year happened for a reason, maybe it even made people stronger then what they think they could’ve been,” Frazer said.

Graduation is expected to take place for the Marshall High School Class of 2021 within the next two weeks with people in attendance.

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