Night to remember: Helena students get 2nd chance at prom

By JEREMY RAINES | Special to the Reporter

HELENA – As for most of us, 2020 has presented itself with many ups and downs. For the class of 2020, this has especially been the case. Most seniors around the world expected to experience memorable senior events, but due to COVID-19, it looked as if they were all going to be canceled.

While they were unable to experience a sense of normal for a while, Helena’s senior class got the opportunity to graduate a week ago and then on Friday, June 5, they got the opportunity to enjoy their senior prom thanks to some help from Helena Hollow, who hosted a second chance dance.

“I’m super excited. It was really fun. I’m glad we all got to have one last big dance as a senior before we go off into the real world”, HHS senior Chris Miller. “It started to rain, but everyone came inside and it stopped. We all had a great time.”

Only an hour into the event, dark clouds quickly rolled into Shelby County, eventually bringing heavy rainfall for about an hour, which forced those in attendance inside the farm’s barn, but with lights strung and the DJ inside keeping the beats flowing, spirits remained high.

“Where do we even start?” Helena Hollow posted to Facebook following the event. “Tonight was nothing short of amazing… rainstorm and all. Would it have even been an event honoring the graduating class of 2020 if something unexpected didn’t happen?

“We feel so blessed to have been able to use our venue as a way to give those kids a “prom” they will hopefully remember for years to come.”

The event featured golf cart shuttle rides provided by Penny Miller and Stacey Franklin of Remax Advantage South, cornhole boards, a digital photo booth, petting zoo, snacks, music from Feel Beat Entertainment and photography from JS.Raines Photography.

Students Antonio Ruiz and Riley Wagar were named the Quaran-King and Quaran-Queen of the event.

To top off the 2020 pandemic theme, attendees were given a Helena Hollow koozie, pop socket and roll of toilet tissue as favors in partnership with Glitz and Gowns.

Chick-Fil-A at The Grove also helped sponsor the event providing chicken sandwiches for the students, while Cedar Creek Nursery provided a beautiful collection of ferns for decorations.

Helena Hollow thanked all of those that helped make the event possible and also thanked the community for supporting the event and allowing those who made it to come out and celebrate.

“It was a night to remember for us, and we hope your kids had a blast,” they said.

Helena Hollow has not been immune to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to the prom giving students in the Class of 2020 a second chance to go out with a fun dance, it also helped support the local Helena farm, who was also impacted by the novel coronavirus.

According to Helena Hollow owner Amie Griffin, the venue had been closed since the beginning of March, and the closing of their business has directly impacted their family since both she and her husband Jamie operate the family farm as full-time careers.

Griffin explained that they knew their family needed a source of income, and they knew that the kids at HHS needed one last event together, so hosting an event only made sense, which led to the three-hour event so many thought wouldn’t happen.