‘Just really awesome’: Bend Tech Academy students host basketball fundraiser for first prom in 3 years

By | April 22, 2022

(Update: Adding video and comments from students, principal)

While it’s only Bend Tech’s second prom, for many it feels like their first

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) — Prom season is making a comeback, after a two-year pandemic pause. This will be Bend Tech Academy at Marshall High School’s second prom in four years but the first since 2019.

The school is holding a basketball fundraiser to raise money for the prom. The BTA Madness basketball 3 on 3 tournament is for middle schoolers April 30-May 1 at 10 am It will be at the BTA School gymnasium and the fee is $60 per team.

It was around the time of March Madness that the idea to host a basketball tournament came about. Students thought it would be a fun way to get the students involved. The tournament is for fifth- through eighth-graders.

Bend Tech Academy at Marshall High School is based on a lottery system in which students apply to attend and are selected from the lottery pool. The school started in 2018 and is a career technical education choice, driven to help students prepare for colleges and careers.

The May 20th prom at Aspen Hall is open to all students, from freshmen to seniors.

Benjamin Murphy, a junior at the school, said he hasn’t had a chance to attend a school dance and is looking forward to this one.

“It honestly means a lot,” Murphy said. “When Covid hit, it was my freshman year, so I had barely been in high school. I didn’t go to any dances then. When I came back my sophomore year, we didn’t have any dances. So, having it now — yeah, it’s just really awesome and will be a really fun experience.”

Freshman Kirabella Licitra says she is looking forward to her first-ever school dance. She feels she missed out on other milestones in her life, and this is an event she’ll always remember.

“Covid started halfway through my seventh-grade year, and so I didn’t really get that whole middle school experience,” Licitra said. “I didn’t get those middle school dances, or really any of that crucial part of me growing up.”

The student leadership organization put together a fundraiser the last weekend of the month to help pay for the prom.

Principal Sal Cassaro sees the positives of the prom’s return, as well as other daily activities long taken for granted.

“Getting back to normal, coming out of Covid has just been an amazing experience,” he said.

“Anything that we can do for our kids to kind of get back to that regular routine, build positive school culture like having proms is making our students actually glow and light up.”

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