Daytona Beach, FL (May 21, 2021) They arrived in limos. They carpooled. They wore tuxedos and evening gowns. They wore dress shirts and cocktail attire.
Decked out in the latest fashion and ready for one last hurrah before moving their tassel and heading into the next chapter of their lives, seniors from Flagler and Volusia counties walked the red carpet on Friday night, heading into the Streamline Hotel for a one night only VIProm.
Having hosted other formal events, the prom was a first for hotel staff, and general manager James Gleeson said that as a father of three he was glad they could accommodate the event.
In fact, three members of the hotel team were able to attend the VIProm event having missed their own prom in years past. Makya Griffin, Casey Laux and Jackson Norman were among those excited by the opportunity to celebrate the milestone, and eagerly posed for photos in the iconic hotel.
“It’s really exciting. Even though there’s a lot of different schools here, so there’s not as many students that I know, at least I also have my co-workers and friends here,” said Laux. “Excited really is the best way to put it. To get something back that I didn’t think I was going to get a chance at, it’s really exciting.”
While some danced to the DJ, others snapped photos from the hotel’s rooftop venue or relaxed in groups and chatted but one thing was certain – everyone there was thankful for the chance to have a prom and catch up with friends.
Pulled together by Class of 2021 mom Melodye Lewis who was motivated by her daughter Abbie’s prom dreams, all the kids who wanted to experience a prom, were able to.
“I’ve got kids from Volusia and Flagler from almost every school that have come tonight. They came in on the red carpet and on the rooftop dancing to a DJ and right across from the beach. You can’t get any better than this,” said Lewis.
“I just can’t tell you how big my heart is right now seeing these kids all dressed up, laughing, together with their friends and that’s how it should have been. Everyone has been so positive and so thankful that we took the step to make this event happen, and I’m just thrilled to see the smiles on these kids’ faces.”
Gathered with friends, Flagler Palm Coast High School senior Nadira Duncan shared her gratitude for the night out when asked what the night meant to them.
“Thank you to Miss Melodye. I’m so glad I got to experience this my senior year,” said Duncan.
Jimmy King was also appreciative of the opportunity to experience a prom before heading off to college to pursue a career in education after graduation.
“I’ve never been to a prom and I have high expectations for events and this is pretty good,” said King. “I want to thank you for just giving us the experience of it. Some have never been to a prom or a high school party in general, so this was a good way to bring us all together.”
Gabriella Sabia said she wasn’t sure there’d be a prom this year and after learning about the VIProm, was excited to shop for her dress and prepare.
“I wasn’t really expecting it because of COVID. I was really happy when they said they were going to be having one,” she said. “Prom gives you more of that high school experience, especially when you’re a senior.”
She wanted Lewis to know the hard work behind the scenes to put the event together was appreciated.
“I’d tell her thank you and that I appreciate everything that’s she’s done,” said Sabia. “I know that she did a lot to go out of her way to make all of this happen and all of this possible. I do respect her a lot for that.”