- Associated Press - Monday, February 16, 2015

VALLEY CITY, N.D. (AP) - It is the goal of Valley City High School prom director Carol Foth and the 16-member junior prom committee that this year’s green prom will be just as beautiful - if not more beautiful - than proms past by spending as little as possible.

The green prom gets its name from the popular phrase “going green,” used to describe recycling and conserving efforts. The prom will feature decorations from past proms and new homemade decorations like chandeliers made from plastic bottles, the Valley City Times-Record reported.

Foth came up with the idea to make a green prom in an effort to use up some prom supplies that have gathered and been stored over the years.

This year’s juniors met in May as sophomores to listen to Foth’s “go green” proposal. The committee agreed and began devising a plan.

The first order of business was to dig through bags of gossamer to fold, roll and possibly sew together pieces to create the shell of the prom area. Foth said enough gossamer was found to create the entire shell without having to order more. That’s a savings of $600.

Juniors typically spend $1,200 each year on prom decorations, but Foth hopes they will not spend any money this year. Once the committee knows where it’s at financially, the junior class will decide what they want to do with the money that was saved - donate it, buy something for their school or something else.

Because leftover decorations are in various colors and themes, Foth thought the best way to make it all fit together is by having a seasons theme. Students will begin their walk through prom in a spring theme, featuring kites, followed by a summer theme, featuring a blazing hot sun. Between that will be a prom and graduation giant frame at which students can have their picture taken. Students will finish their walk through fall, featuring earthy colors and a harvest moon, and winter, featuring huge snowflakes. Homecoming is the highlight of fall, so there will be a giant homecoming frame between fall and winter.

Students make decorations for prom every year which are put in storage, but they’ll be brought back into the light this year for the green prom. Students will also make new decorations, such as chandeliers made from plastic two liter and water bottles.

“That’s another way to use plastic bottles before we recycle them,” Foth said.

This can’t be done without the help of the community, though. The committee is looking for donations of two liter and other plastic bottles. They can be dropped off at the high school or either of the elementary schools.

The juniors will use the bottles to recreate the effect of American glass sculptor Dale Chihuly’s work. Although the chandeliers will take a lot of work, Foth said with 16 members on the committee it’s doable.

“With a group of 16, we’re going to do just fine; that’s a nice number,” she said.

A typical prom has about a $1,200 price tag, according to Foth. The most expensive item is gossamer, which is used to make the canopies and walls that make up the shell of the prom. Other items purchased each year are metallic curtains to cover doorways along with other decor to decorate tables.

Foth said there should be enough tablecloths leftover to cover all the tables this year. They’ll be covered in quarters in seasonal colors.

This year’s prom is set for Saturday, May 2 at the Hi-Liner Activity Center. The grand march is at 8 p.m.

Foth said in addition to saving money and resources, the green prom sends a message to students and the community.

“I think it’s really important to conserve,” Foth said. “I think this sends a message that we can recycle and that the prom’s going to be as beautiful - if not more beautiful - than any prom we’ve ever done. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to make a beautiful prom.”

“It just takes a lot of glitter,” she added.


Information from: Valley City Times-Record, https://www.times-online.com

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