It wasn’t the prom they were expecting, but more than 130 Seymour High School students had the chance to dress up and have fun together.
On July 31, 138 students showed up at Pewter Hall in Brownstown happy to be able to experience what is considered a milestone event for juniors and seniors.
With three children in high school, Autumn Kegeris organized the prom after SHS canceled the dance in April due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although it’s fewer people than normally would attend prom, Kegeris said she was happy to be able to give students, especially seniors, something to remember other than the pandemic.
"I was hoping for more, but this was a great turnout," she said. "These kids deserve some fun. The seniors never got to finish the school year with their friends. They didn’t get to walk across the stage to graduate. Everything has been stolen from them this year. I wanted to be able to give them one positive thing."
The event was free for students.
Kegeris raised around $2,800 in donations from the community in order to rent the facility, purchase decorations and refreshments and hire a disc jockey and a photographer.
"Without the donations made to the Facebook fundraiser, I could not have done this," she said.
Several local businesses also made donations, including The Peoples Bank, Hampton Towing, Dragonfly Boutique, A Total Tan, Tractor Supply Co., Greemann’s Furniture, Hearts Desire, Blush and Brush Beauty Bar, Spacious Loft Air B&B, Sexton and Associates, Barger Wreaths, Junkard BBQ, 92.7 NASH Icon and Sadie Loud at L. Studio LLC.
"During these hard times, they still found a way to help our community," Kegeris said.
The theme for the dance was the Roaring ’20s.
Although the state has not moved to Stage 5 of Gov. Eric Holcomb’s reopening plan, Kegeris said she didn’t limit the number of students who could attend, knowing some would choose to stay home.
Kegeris said with the size of Pewter Hall, students were able to spread out and not be crowded.
"Each group that came together pretty much sat together, and the tables were not close," she said.
It was more difficult to social distance while dancing, but Kegeris said students had to bring a face mask due to the state mandate.
Overall, the prom went well, and students were appreciative of the effort taken on their behalf, Kegeris said.
"They kept coming up and thanking me for doing this for them," she said. "I have watched most of them grow over the years with my kids, from field days, birthday parties, sports. I am grateful that I was able to do something for them."
Kegeris said she hopes the Class of 2021 doesn’t face the same challenges as this year’s class did.
"Hopefully, they can have a normal prom next year," she said.