It’s a prom story unlike any other: an evening to remember made possible by donations for Schoharie High School students, who have spent the last nine months recovering
from the floods caused by Irene.
The cost of Friday night's prom was covered by neighbors and businesses, allowing kids to attend the big dance without reaching into their own pockets.
For these Schoharie kids, prom was the farthest thing from their minds in the months following the disaster.
In August, the water came rushing through and took with it entire homes, flipping businesses and washing away generations of hard work.
“You're going to get me crying now,” said an emotional Lisa Henry.
On prom day, Lisa and her daughter Jamie took us back to what used to be their home on Grand Street.
“These are the two windows to my bedroom,” Jamie said as she looked through her gutted home to the other side.
Jamie always thought she'd be getting into her prom gown in her own bedroom.
Instead, she got ready at her friend Allie Blyth’s house.
All of this would never have been a reality for Jamie, had it not been for the outpouring of support, starting with the Blyth family.
“Actually one of my friend’s [Allie] fathers gave her money to get me a dress and I didn't know about it,” Jamie said smiling.
On prom day, Jamie and a number of other students made their way to J. Lacy Salon on Main Street in the Village.
“It makes me feel like a princess and that's how I want to feel on prom,” said Taylor Tessitore, who was getting her makeup done as she talked with us.
The shop, in the midst of rebuilding, opened for the day just for the kids. All services were free, to make sure this was a night they'd never forget.
“We had so many kids helping us clean out the salon after the flood, so it’s nice to give them something that they might not have been able to afford,” said makeup artist Nicole Livecchi who works at J. Lacy Salon.
“It is a privilege and an honor to be able to do this for these kids,” said J. Lacy Owner Leslie Price.
Support came from all across the Capital Region. In Altamont, the front room at ReNue Spa was overflowing with nearly 150 donated dresses.
“Everybody should have that opportunity to go to prom, have that experience, and we wanted to make it possible for them,” said ReNue stylist Kristine Skinner, who collected the dresses.
On prom Friday, she also offered discounted services for students.
These are just a few of the volunteers who pitched in, offering free gowns and alterations, tuxedo rentals, haircuts, styles, flowers, and even the elegant venue.
Altamont's Appel Inn hosted the students free of charge, helping to make this night possible for so many families who lost everything just months ago.
“It's nice that she is going to her prom which we didn't think would happen,” Lisa Henry said tearing up.
“We are back in our house now and everything seems to be fitting back together,” explained Schoharie Senior Grace Caza, who was wearing a donated dress. “I am so thankful for all of it.”
Wearing beautiful gowns and handsome tuxedos, donning vibrant flowers, and huge smiles, the kids in Schoharie let go of their worries and hit the dance floor.
“It’s definitely a night to remember,” said Allie and Jamie.
J. Lacy Salon will be opening for the rest of the public in the next month.
The Henry family is living in Sharon Springs, but trying to make their way back to Schoharie soon.
The students were so overwhelmed with the donations and support, they were able to donate money back to New York Disaster Relief.