The one magical night that high school seniors and juniors are supposed to never forget is moving forward.
On May 29, a prom will be held for high schoolers at the Rose Garden Estates located at 24492 Bear Valley Road.
Organizers Sammy Tapia and Tatum Monkiewicz said it's important to bring back the event in the face of COVID-19.
"Since COVID started a year ago, the kids have not had a prom. This makes two years in a row that prom has not been allowed to happen," Monkiewicz said. "Since we are homeschooled, Sam and I thought this would be a great way to share a wonderful memory with everyone to remember their high school years."
The event is open to all of Tehachapi's juniors and seniors, regardless of school. However, they must be Tehachapi residents.
"We are forced to keep this limited to Tehachapi residents only due to COVID guidelines so we do not exceed the limit for the venue," Tapia said.
Tapia and Monkiewicz said they are unsure how many students will be allowed to participate; however, every effort will be made to stay within the COVID limit.
Several donors have stepped up to the plate to ensure the night is indeed magical.
"We have several private donors as well as local businesses who are helping to make this night unforgettable," Monkiewicz said. "Rose Garden Estates has worked with us to secure the venue and really made this dream possible — we would like to give a huge thank you to Lorie Weinroth (owner of the Rose Garden Estates) for her contribution. We could not have imagined a more beautiful venue to have this prom at."
In addition, the organizers thanked Monique and Steven Kite and the rest of the staff at the Rose Garden for their help helping to turn the dream into a reality.
In addition, Redhouse BBQ has offered to cater the event, Stallion Springs General Store is donating drinks, local Miramar Real Estate agent Cody Hash has donated a substantial amount of cash for decorations and Linda’s Cakes and Things is donating baked goods.
1st Choice Paint donated a substantial amount of cash toward securing the venue, Jamie Carey has donated her time to provide photography, Papa’s House in Stallion Springs has offered a substantial donation and is holding a fundraiser to raise more funds. Sassy Cakes has also donated.
"We are still waiting to hear from a few other local businesses and business owners about donations," Tapia said.
Due to the impact COVID-19 has had on them and their classmates, Tapia and Monkiewicz said promoting a prom is bringing the students one step closer to normal life.
"It’s been really hard to maintain our previous lifestyles with friends due to COVID," Tapia said. "There are so many people who are keeping their distance to avoid possible exposure and it has made it more difficult to be a kid these days. We are so happy to hear that with everyone following the COVID guidelines, we are closer to beating this thing and going back to normal."
But wanting to do something and doing it are two different things. Planning for the prom has not been easy.
"The hardest part has definitely been securing donations and getting the word out to everyone in Tehachapi," Monkiewicz said. "In the beginning, the thought of this prom sounded really easy, but as the planning process continues, we are seeing that it is harder than we thought. This has been a really great lesson for Sam and I in learning how to deal with local businesses, business owners and donors. Without them, none of this would be possible."
According to the organizers, any donations left over, should there be any, will be donated back into the community.
For teens who can't afford to pay for their ticket, donations have been made specifically for prom scholarship tickets.
"We want everyone to be included in this regardless of their ability to pay," Monkiewicz said. "Everyone should have a prom that they will remember for the rest of their lives! These are memories that you really can’t put a price tag on. We are currently still looking for donors to sponsor ticket sales for those who can’t afford tickets."
Tickets for $30 per person can be purchased at 1st Choice Paint, located at 20424 Brian Way, Suite 5, or by calling Shea Tapia at 972-3783.