Town makes donation to festival committee


Parents of the Crothersville Junior-Senior High School eighth-graders didn’t want them to miss out on an end-of-year dance.

In 2020, the eighth grade dance was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The high school didn’t have its prom, either. At that time, all students were doing eLearning, and various types of events were being called off.

With the pandemic still impacting events this year, school officials again didn’t want to host either dance due to health and safety reasons.

Erica Gorbett and Missi Clouse are among the eighth grade parents organizing an off-site eighth grade dance May 8.

“To me, it’s like a rite of passage, leaving middle school to high school. It’s their last big thing,” Gorbett told the Crothersville Town Council during a meeting Tuesday night.

She said the school isn’t allowing the students to access the funds they have raised because then it would turn into a school event and the school would be liable.

Her request at the meeting was to see if the town would be willing to make a donation for the eighth grade dance using the 501(c)(3) status of the Crothersville Red, White and Blue Festival, which is organized by Gorbett and a committee.

Gorbett said Subway in Crothersville is going to provide the food, Genpak in Scottsburg is providing cups and plates, the committee has reached out to Pepsi and Dr. Pepper to donate drinks and Clouse is going to pay the rent of whatever building is used. Right now, they are looking at the United Methodist church annex or the senior citizens center in town.

That leaves the costs of decorations for the event and gift bags for the eighth-graders, totaling around $754. There are 32 students in the class, and Gorbett expects most, if not all, of them to attend the dance.

“Whatever you can do would be greatly appreciated, and every little bit would help,” Gorbett told the council. “Pretty much, if me and Missi didn’t step up to do something, the kids would have to miss out on their eighth grade formal.”

Gorbett said she and Clouse thought about charging $5 per ticket to offset the costs, but when the dance has been at the school, there has been no charge for tickets.

“So that’s kind of up in the air,” Gorbett said.

Councilman Jamy Greathouse said for liability reasons with COVID-19 restrictions still in place, he preferred the town making a donation to the festival committee, which could use the funds at its discretion.

He then made a motion to donate $350 to the festival committee, and that was unanimously approved.