OHS Winter Festival

Ottumwa High School Class of 2022 put on a fundraiser Saturday in order to raise funds for prom in 2021. Here they pack up unsold baked goods, which they planned to sell at Fareway.

OTTUMWA — Prom is months away. The one that will benefit from this year’s Winter Festival is even further. But students are thinking ahead.

Gissellen Turrado, student body president, was proud of the efforts of her peers. “There is some obstacles we had to go over,” she said, “but I mean we all worked together pretty well.”

Turrado said the students have not started brainstorming ideas for prom in 2021, so no theme has been decided.

“We know we want to have an after prom if we get enough funds for that,” Turrado said, “but our main goal is to get enough money for prom.”

Kimi Hull, a parent at the fundraiser, said they are striving for an after prom because there was not one this year. She said the after prom, usually comprised of games, prizes, food and refreshments, gives students a chance to unwind from homework and studying.

“You find something for the kids to do,” she said, “because if not, they’re going to go out and find something else to do. It’s a safer option to individual parties everywhere.”

Hull and Turrado said creating prom and the after prom doesn’t just happen overnight. It takes hard work. They said if students want a prom, they will have to continue with fundraisers, even if it means carving out extra times in the afternoon and weekends. Hull took unsold baked goods from the festival to Fareway.

“I hope people realize that if they want a good prom,” Turrado said, “they’re going to have to help. People are always talking about ‘I want an after prom’ or ‘I want this and that.’ Well, if you want something, you’ll have to work for it.”

Hull agreed. “The parents and kids in the class have to help,” she said.

While prom and the after prom won’t be for awhile, Turrado hopes for a great turnout. She encourages her classmates to attend prom because it will help create “awesome memories.”

“You only go to high school once in your life,” she said. “It’s a small four years of your life. Those moments could set your entire life ahead of you. Prom is a big part of your life because it makes you feel that it’s your night and it makes you feel like a great person and it’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance. It’s a good way to get out and celebrate the end of your high school career.”

“It’s the last time to go with a bang,” Turrado added.

Chiara Romero can be reached at cromero@ottumwacourier.com.

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