Connect with us


Two parents of Westport High School seniors organize prom after school cancels



Photo courtesy of Rustic Rose Floral Designs

Two Westport parents have decided to make sure that Westport High School seniors have a prom despite the school reportedly cancelling their scheduled event Saturday.

Mindi Bennivedse, with some help from Chari Hurley, is set to put on the private prom and both women have strong opinions that the seniors deserve their special night.

“I refuse to allow my only child to lose anything else”, said Bennivedse. “Being in the restaurant industry I absolutely know the laws and rules. The school is dropping the ball on yet something else. I had a feeling they were going to do this. They announced they were having a prom the day after we planned this one. Knowing the way our town is run I knew it was basically to shut this one down so I never cancelled the room for this one.

When two weeks went by and nobody was selling tickets for the school’s prom, I knew this was a ruse from the start. It was only a matter of time before the prom that never really existed was cancelled. They allowed parents to go out and spend hundreds of dollars on prom gowns and they were going to cancel all along.”

Hurley had equally strong opinions feeling the students deserve a prom.

“COVID has obviously led to a lot of changes for the class of 2021. From missing out on every senior rite of passage to having to choose colleges without touring them, it’s been a difficult year. I think we as parents all hoped that this senior class would get a little normalcy by the end of their senior year, but most of us weren’t very confident it would happen. When I got the email today that prom was cancelled”, said Hurley. “I took the time to look up the DESE “regulations” which turned out to actually be recommendations. They did in fact recommend schools not have prom but also recommended viable alternatives such as having prom after school is out and students have had an opportunity to be vaccinated. It seems like rather than be creative and work on a solution for these kids who have lost so much, administration chose to just cancel. We owe them the best efforts we can to let them have this one thing, one final celebration to show they are cared about and we are proud of them.”

Hurley stated that most of the seniors are out working in the community and being exposed to people not wearing masks. “I think we have to let a little common sense prevail and as long as they are masked and following precautions, this shouldn’t be an issue. These are the same kids they are already in contact with on a day to day basis.”

The prom is strictly for seniors who would like to have the opportunity to attend their senior prom unless some tickets are still available. Bennivedse stated that all school rules will be upheld and enforced. At first, a $50 ticket admission was going to be charged to cover all food & drink, DJ, decorations, and establishment fees. The pair decided, however, to create a GoFundMe page and whatever is raised will decrease ticket prices for attendees.

According to Bennivedse, The Pearl at 76 Weir Street in Taunton will be holding the indoor/outdoor patio event with plenty of room for social distancing if needed. There will also be photo opportunities. The prom will be able to hold up to 130 attendees.

The prom is scheduled to take place on June 16th, 2021, from 6:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

To donate to the GoFundMe or to have any questions answered, click here.

Once ticket prices are determined, you can get them here.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Copyright © 2017 Fall River Reporter