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A night of beauty

Press Photo by Beth Wischmeyer Trinity High School juniors Sam Jilek and Halie Knopik will be attending Saturday's prom.

Trinity High School senior Danielle Hoyt made her prom dress for about $60 last year. This year, she'll be purchasing a $340 dress.

She wasn't planning to buy one but tried one on and "loved it," she said while standing in front of a mirror at the store, patiently waiting to get fitted.

Hoyt, along with many high school girls and boys will be purchasing dress attire and spending hundreds to attend one night of dinner and dancing.

Hoyt will attend prom with boyfriend Alex Schiff.

"It can be expensive," Hoyt said. "But I really liked my dress and I'll be paying for the majority of the costs. It's my last year, and prom is pretty fun."

Having their hair done, getting a manicure and pedicure, buying shoes, tanning, prom tickets, prom pictures, jewelry and more, all adds to the cost.

"I don't think people realize how much money goes into prom," said Susan Veverka, Danielle's mother. "Not that you have to spend that kind of money, but when they go they want to look nice and have those extra items."

To save money this year, Hoyt said she'll make a flower arrangement and garter.

Sam Jilek, Trinity High School junior said he'll be spending around $125 on a tuxedo, shoes and a tie.

"It's not as bad as a dress," he said. "I think it'll be fun. It's the first time."

Prom is expensive, said Halie Knopik, Jilek's date.

"It's $35 just to be in the grand march," Knopik said. "I couldn't even try on some dresses because they were too expensive.

"It gets really hard when some of my friends can spend any amount they want. I love my dress though."

South Heart, Trinity and Dickinson high schools will all have prom Saturday, each with different themes and ideas.

THS allows juniors and seniors at prom, so for many students, this is their first time attending, unlike other schools where one must be asked by a junior or senior to go.

Prom is once a year so some students don't care as much about cost.

"I wanted to go all out because it's my boyfriend's senior year," said South Heart junior Jamie Kubas.

Kubas said her dress and the fitting will cost her $400, not including the $100 she'll spend on her hair, and the $80-$90 she'll spend on tanning minutes and tanning lotion.

"I'm paying for about half of everything," she added, with her parents for the rest.

Fellow South Heart junior Julianna Fleck said her mom will be paying for most of her expenses, but will be reusing a dress her sister once wore. It will cost $75 to get it fitted.

Making every penny count

The cost of prom has some schools watching their pennies, and some students looking for ways to attend the event in a more thrifty, but still fashionable, manner.

"It's an expensive venue anymore," said Shelia Hlibichuk, SHHS junior class advisor at South Heart High School. "When we were looking at decoration we had to shop around and choose bits and pieces from different companies."

Though there isn't a set theme, students strive for a general decoration scheme, with new decorations and some that have been purchased in the past, Hlibichuk said

They spent about $1,200 in decorations this year, she added, with about $400 for a disc jockey whose complete cost is shared with an after prom committee.

About 34 couples are expected at Saturday's event, and many will choose to get supper prior to the event. Some students say they travel to Dickinson to eat. Others parents will feed hungry students before the prom, Hlibichuk said.

The DHS junior class begins fundraising for the event in junior high and receives no help from the school, said Trista Fisher, junior class advisor.

"They have a ton of money in there (the account) this year, so we really haven't had to do much fundraising this year," Fisher said. "It's $30 for a ticket for a couple, so that money covers a lot of expenses, too."

Any money the junior class doesn't spend will go into the next class's account, Fisher said.

About $4,500 to $5,000 will be spent on this year's prom, which includes the D.J., Fisher estimates.

"I think this year's prom is going to be bigger than the last couple of years," Fisher said. "It seems like everyone I've talked to is going."

While DHS students raise funds for a number of years, THS students rely on fundraising done within their junior year.

"I would say the class probably raised around $3,000," said Vickie Conner, junior class advisor. "If we go over our budget, then the juniors will end up doing fundraising into their senior year and then paying it back."

Since next year will be the last year she can go to prom, Knopik said she'll be doing things a little differently.

"Next year I'll probably buy a more expensive dress," Knopik said. "I found mine pretty cheap this year. It was about $235."