Just hours before the Rustic Barn in Canton was set to host Edgewood High School’s prom, the building was destroyed during a series of tornadoes.
There were no injuries reported among the dozen or so people who were in the facility at the time, but the building was a total loss.
Edgewood ISD Superintendent Andy Baker said the students weren’t concerned about rescheduling the dance; they just wanted to help their community.
“As a group, they were talking about ways they might be able to use their time toward helping their family, friends and community pick up after the storms,” Baker said in an email. “And they did just that.”
On May 4, the senior class got together to help out a fellow student whose home was destroyed. On May 8, most of the students at the school volunteered in a communitywide cleanup, with more than 275 students participating.
Baker said area schools offered to group together their proms with Edgewood to give the students a chance to have their special night while they were busy working to support the community.
“Everyone agrees that rescheduling our student prom was important for our students,” he said. “But as a group, our students realized that a lot of their friends and community family got hit very hard by the storms.”
For months, the owners of event venue Villa de Felicita had been unable to book May 13, in what is normally one of their most sought-after times of the year, co-owner Ronda James said.
“What happened in Canton was very tragic. I can’t contribute a whole lot money-wise and it was weighing heavily on me,” Mrs. James said. “I decided to text my mom and dad and tell them what was on my mind.”
To her surprise, her parents said they had also been discussing how they could help. What had seemed like bad luck with booking turned out to be providence. The date was available to host Edgewood’s prom Saturday.
“For some reason, this year we just never could book it,” she said. “For me, it was a Godly thing that we never could book that date and had it available.”
James said businesses from all over the community have pitched in to ensure the students get the prom they deserve.
Baker said as the students rushed to help their community, the community in turn was organizing to return the favor.
“I am proud to be a part of such a wonderful group of students and community,” he said.
The following groups have helped with Edgewood’s prom:
• Texas Best Events donated a photo booth
• KISS FM radio station out of Dallas/Fort Worth donated a charter bus to take students and will provide some of their morning show DJs to emcee the dance.
• Chetek-Weyerhaeuser High School in Wisconsin, which on April 28 had its prom at a venue called “Edgewood Barn,” felt connected to the students and donated a candy buffet.
• A family that was in a restaurant with some of the prom students on the night of the tornadoes paid to help some of the male students rent tuxedos for the rescheduled prom. The family said they were impressed with how the students handled themselves and those around them during the storm.
• Men’s Warehouse in Mesquite and Al’s Formal Wear in Mesquite offered to give students that originally rented tux’s from them a replacement for the night and also donated tuxedos to students who needed them.
• The Greenhouse in Wills Point, The Angelic Garden in Edgewood and Ben & Neva’s Flower Shop in Grand Saline donated flowers, corsages and boutonnieres.
• Azalea Catering and Cisco donated food.
• Bahama Bucks will provide snow cones and Pour Me will offer a soda bar.