'Prom for just $5!' East High student government and faculty in Utah make prom affordable

'Prom for just $5!' East High student government and faculty help make prom affordable (Photo: Dan Rascon/ KUTV)

(KUTV)- "Prom for just $5!" It's hard to believe, but thanks to East High School's student body officers and faculty, prom night is a lot more affordable for students.

The $5 includes tickets, transportation to and from the event on a Le Bus, a 5X7 picture, and an after Prom party.

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“Oh it’s a great deal,” student organizer, Matt Simmons said. He says prom can get into the hundreds of dollars for students. “We feel in the past we’ve kind of been catering to the specific population to East High. We are really trying to include everybody.”

“Inclusiveness and outreach to students. Not just a specific group of kids but the whole school,” Ainu Kafisi, East High’s student body vice president, said.

According to the school, about 60% of the 2,000 student body are on free or reduced lunch. Last year students say they only had about 150 kids show up to Prom and this year they are planning for 500 or more. They say they can handle as many as 1,200.

“It was a money problem and that’s what we are trying to cater to is not making it a real financial barring, but having it be a cheap fun night for everybody,” Simmons said.

Students say the biggest obstacle in trying to save money was the venue. Venues for prom can cost thousands of dollars.

The Union Event Center in Salt Lake City heard about East High’s situation and offered to donate their facility for Saturday night.

“That’s a huge help for us. The cost to have an event there is about $7,500 and to get that for free has been amazing,” student organizer, Dalton Hoopes, said.

For students who can’t afford clothes, there are dozens of new prom dresses that were donated and the school also has suit coats, ties, and shoes for the guys.

Andrea Cazares, who is picking out one of the dresses, says this is a huge saving for her. “It’s awesome because you don’t have to worry about buying a dress. Even to rent, the prices are really pricey.”

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