The sudden closure of Noah's Event Venues across the country has left hundreds of brides in the dark, but the financial woes are now impacting a Fort Worth ISD high school.
Marine Creek Collegiate High School is scrambling to find a new location to host prom. Two weeks ago the school paid Noah's Event Venue in Forth Worth $4,700 for it's May 15 prom.
“It was definitely very disappointing, we didn’t expect it. We’ve been looking at several venues for months now and we had it narrowed down to this last one," said Veronica Saldivar, the senior class president. “It was a hard hit, definitely, we were not expecting it.”
Saldivar said for the last four years, the students have sold candy, scrunchies and other items in order to raise money for prom.
“They (teachers) found out early this week, but they told me today that we will unfortunately not be able to get the venue anymore," said Saldivar. "Now we’re honestly just looking around at our options. We lost a vast amount of money, so we don’t know if we’ll be able to recover that amount of money or even get close to fundraising that amount in this short amount of time we have.”
Kiley Armstrong, an Algebra teacher and the senior class sponsor, took to social media to try and get help for their school.
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"We’ve been fundraising and I’ve been with these kids for three years and they have worked so hard for this money and looking forward to prom so when I saw the loss of $4,700 was huge to our budget," said Armstrong.
She said before the final payment to the venue, they had about $10,000 to $13,000 for the senior budget which isn't only for prom, but for other events as well.
Armstrong said she reached out to a group on Facebook where others who were impacted by the sudden closing were also commenting. She then made a post in a local mom's group to get help.
“I love these kids so much, and hearing other people be upset about what happened to them, because the money we lost it wasn’t our money, it wasn’t the district’s money, it was money these kids had raised and worked so hard for," explained Armstrong.
Marine Creek Collegiate High School is unique in the fact that students are working to earn their diplomas along with the Associate Degrees. That being said, the school is focused on academics.
"They forgo a lot of the traditional high school experiences. We don’t have athletics, we don’t have homecoming dances or pep rally's or anything like that, so this is their one traditional high school experience and they have all worked so incredibly hard and they just need the opportunity to celebrate the end of their high school career," explained Armstrong.
Out of the 350 population, 87 of them make up the 2020 senior class. Seniors pay about $225 at the beginning of the year for costs that include prom, but other activities along with their cap and gown.
Principal Tom Fraire said the news about the prom venue shutting down is even more hurtful because most of his students come from low-income families.
He said when people hear that their school is an early college high school, they think, 'oh well, that's a special school where just unique kids go,' but Fraire said 87 percent of his students are economically disadvantage.
"How am I going to look at them in the eye and tell them, ‘I don’t’ know how we’re going to get this money for prom. I know because I've been in education for so long that you just don't raise $4,700 in one event, it takes several years," explained Fraire.
“Everyone is just as devastated, everyone thinks that we might not even be able to have a venue anymore or even a prom," said Saldivar about her classmates. "So a lot of us gave up on the possibility of people didn’t think we would be able to fund-raise to even get a prom."