Thursday, June 3, 2021

It takes a village

Local donations help Romulus High School seniors attend prom

2021 Senior Class Advisor Kyleen Zoltowski, from left, City Councilwoman
and sponsor Kathy Abdo, Class Advisor Wendy Pachota and co-sponsor
Sandy Tenny,  show off a mocked-up check for the donations collected to
fund tickets to the senior prom at Romulus High School.

Several Romulus High School students had an extra reason to celebrate at their prom last night.

The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic had made the $75 tickets to the prom out of reach for several area families this year. When class advisors Wendy Pachota and Kyleen Zoltowski realized the number of students who could not attend the traditional senior high school event, they reached out to City Councilwoman Kathy Abdo, who taught at the high school for more that 40 years. Pachota and Zoltowski sought help from Abdo, who also spent decades as a class advisor at the school, wondering if she might know of any group or local business willing to donate enough to pay for one or two tickets for the students. 

Abdo said she got the call about the situation in March and that she and co-sponsor, Romulus bus driver Sandy Tenny, spent about six weeks making phone calls to local individuals and businesses, seeking a little help for the graduating students.

Between the two, they collected $2,470 in pledges, enough to fund tickets for 32 seniors with a little left over to donate to funding the event. Thanks to the success of their six weeks of phone calls, the 32 students were able to attend the prom which took place outdoors at Crystal Gardens last night.

“These were all local, individual donations,” Abdo said. “So many schools have had to cancel prom altogether. We are all looking for some semblance of normalcy in these times and having this event, outside, will provide that for these kids.” 

Abdo said that the majority of the donations were small amounts meant to help defray the ticket costs while St. John's Lodge donated a larger sum to help several of the students attend the once-in-a-lifetime event.