Cooking Up Money For Prom

With suits and gowns, combined with limos and music, prom is a night many students will never forget. However, this night would not be the same for Lake Ridge students without Guffey.

Culinary teacher Ann Guffey is a sponsor for the freshman students’ class, which means that she helps the freshmen raise money for important events relating to their class. She contributes to many school events and fundraisers, and she is currently focused on raising money for the upcoming years of prom.

“This is my second year being a class sponsor and doing fundraising. I have done spirit nights, I’ve made t-shirts, and now this online fundraiser, which has been the most profitable for the students. I’m mostly raising money for the freshman class, because by their senior year, they need so many things for prom,” said Guffey.

Prom is often thought of with high expectations, but these expectations cannot be reached without funding. Oftentimes, students cannot raise the required amount of money without help from a teacher or adult. Guffey has taken on the job of working with students to give them the prom night they desire.

“It’s so fun for kids to get dressed up, go shopping, hang out with friends, and just make memories. I’ve worked really hard for the kids to get that money. You don’t have to put that much work into it, but I want to because I want the kids to have a nice dance and a nice prom,” said Guffey.

Guffey chose to sponsor the freshman class specifically, though she often helps other grade levels during fundraisers. Many freshmen need additional guidance as they enter the world of high school, and their class sponsor can be a great source of support.

“I really like helping the freshmen, because they come in and they don’t really know anything that’s going on. I really want to be there for them, so they can start out with a strong first year,” stated Guffey.

Though Guffey organizes and plans many fundraisers, they cannot be successful without the help of students and their parents. No matter how much work is put into the preparation for a fundraiser, there is little benefit without donations.

“Students think prom is so far away, and they don’t think that they need to think about it right now. The most important thing is just doing a little bit each year. If everybody participates in the fundraiser just a little bit, then it really makes a difference,” stated Guffey.

It can take plenty of advertising and planning to achieve profitability from a fundraiser, and there are many approaches when motivating students to donate. Some fundraising organizations provide prizes and benefits for those who participate, and Guffey has chosen to do the same while raising money for prom.

“I have meetings with the class officers, and we have to decide which fundraisers we want to do and get it approved by the school. Then we promote the fundraiser and put it all over social media. I’ve gotten prizes and wheeled them all around the school, so kids could see what they could win from the vendor just for participating in the fundraiser,” said Guffey.

Oftentimes, students pay little mind to the cost of prom for the school. With the excitement of finding a date, buying a dress, or renting a limo, many fail to consider the other factors that play into the experience.

“I would compare prom to a wedding. You have to have flowers, food, a venue, a DJ, and security; there’s so much, and you’re having more people at this prom than you would invite to a wedding. Kids don’t realize how much that costs. The planning for prom has to be done by your junior year because you’re booking it just like you would a wedding: a year in advance. So, having the money to pay for this really needs to have been saved starting your freshman year,” said Guffey.

Guffey has successfully raised money for the freshman, sophomore, and junior classes for their senior prom. Through two years of fundraising, she has given these classes a strong start on the preparations for a memorable night.

“I’m just proud that this was successful, and I can leave the freshmen and sophomores with a lot of money; I helped the juniors too. I’ve helped all the students raise money because I care about all of them, and I want them all to have what they need,” stated Guffey.