Slay It Forward

Prom might be canceled for high-school seniors and juniors across the country, but for the students at Carlisle High School in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, that didn’t mean the party was over.

Using a pickup truck, a DJ and a professional photographer, Carlisle resident Preston Griffin helped a group of local businesses pitch in on Saturday to create a special night for the students after the coronavirus pandemic ruined their rite of passage.

“We want them to feel celebrated in what might seem like a season of loss.” Griffin told ABC News. “They are all queens and kings for the evening.”

Partygoers were treated to a socially-distanced night of good fun on their front lawns. More than 70 high school students signed up for the so-called “Prom on Wheels,” requesting three songs on an online questionnaire. The most popular tune of the evening: Tongue Tied by Grouplove.

a group of people that are standing in the grass: Students from Carlisle High School in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, enjoy their "Prom on Wheels," May 16, 2020.“It was such a magical moment and it really brightened my day,” said student Heidi Heinlein, who requested that “She Will Be Loved” by Maroon 5 be played as the truck arrived at her house.

“We could hear the honking, siren and music before the car arrived,” she said. “My boyfriend and I were waiting for them outside and my whole family came out to celebrate.”

Senior Sydney Harrell and other promgoers tagged along in their own vehicles after their dances were done, creating a parade of cars that at one point reached 15 long.

“This is hands down the best prom ever, it was so wonderful to drive up and see friends you haven’t seen since school suddenly ended.”

Florists provided a variety of corsages, boutonnieres and bouquets for the students. Burger King donated 80 of their signature crowns to be used as prom regalia.

a person cutting a wedding cake: Students from Carlisle High School in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, enjoy their "Prom on Wheels," May 16, 2020.

“The Class of 2020 is incredibly resilient and they have continued to adapt to the times,” Griffin said. “They really can do anything and it is important to celebrate them with hope and let them know they are not forgotten.”

Attendees were delivered gift bags containing inspiring quotes and a meal voucher from Chick-fil-A. A photographer snapped portraits of the guests clad in their gala-best to round out the festivities.

Courtesy of their community, a missed milestone didn’t stop the Class of 2020 from creating new and lasting memories.

“It was spectacular,” Harrell said. “There was lots of cheering and we danced like no other.”

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Hey SLAYER! I’ve started a new series of posts called SLAY IT FORWARD. Each post is a submission from you of an act of kindness you have received or have witnessed that has inspired you. Let’s remind each other what’s important during this time and spread kindness… SLAY IT FORWARD.

To submit your own SLAY IT FORWARD story email me at carrie@stateofslay.com

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