PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Instead of a prom in a hotel banquet room or even in the school gym, Bay High School students had a night under the stars. The night of music, dancing, and memories, for the first time ever, was held outside at McKenzie Park.
“Seeing everyone in one group being happy and enjoying themselves I think that’s the main thing I want to see,” said senior Zamuel Compere.
But it’s a night that almost didn’t happen. From the venue to the theme “Enchanted Garden,” the event was filled with obstacles.
“How do you give a garden to kids with no trees?” said SGA advisor Megan Todd.
Pulling it off seemed impossible in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael.
“The city has been great, they re-sodded for us, the FSU athletics has come down and cleaned the parks for us, it’s been wonderful,” said Todd.
From the chairs to the dance floor, the community stepped up to make the magical night happen.
“I would say close to 95 percent of everything at this prom has been donated,” said Todd.
Culinary students provided the food and the school made tickets affordable for all, giving out vouchers, free tickets, and dresses to those who needed an extra hand.
“You’re talking about a sense of community pulling together and showing the true definition of that and it’s here,” said senior class sponsor Logan Flint.
Usually, Bay High’s prom is held on the Beach but for the first time ever, it was in the heart of Panama City, not only more accessible for students but much more special.
“I feel like we’re on the verge of a renaissance that this town is coming back bigger and better and it’s all about letting these kids see the bounce back is happening and they are part of it,” said Todd.
“I think we could start something, a tradition of doing this every year,” said Compere.
Bay High School students missed their homecoming due to Hurricane Michael, but since then it has been rescheduled for the end of the school year.