By Penn Points Staff
Prom. A night to remember. A night that may never begin for some Penn Manor students this year.
Administrators, 2012 class officers, and advisers are scrambling to seat all seniors at this year’s prom.
Wednesday, several students were turned away when they attempted to buy tickets for the May 11 event, that will be held at the Eden Resort and Suites.
“We ran out of tickets, because there’s only a certain amount of spots available,” said class officer and member of prom committee, Megan Schlegelmilch.
Penn Manor senior Brian Le was one of the students turned down for a ticket Wednesday. He was put on a waiting list.
“Well, they said the deadline was (Wednesday), so why didn’t they have tickets? I would of gotten them sooner if I knew there was a limit,” said Le. “I’m pretty mad there’s no tickets left, there must of been some sloppy preparation.”
“That’s correct, there’s none left,” Mindy Rottmund, FCS teacher and adviser of the senior class, said Wednesday during lunch.
But not so fast.
After several conversations with the the hotel’s staff and prom planners, some room was made in “Arthur’s” the adjoining restaurant. There is enough room being made to accommodate 12 more students along with the 13 chaperones (principals), for a grand total of 509 Penn Manor prom goers, according to the Eden.
High school principal Phil Gale said school staff was trying to find additional areas at the Eden for people to sit.
“We have satisfied everyone who wants a ticket as of this morning,” said Gale. “We have taken care of everyone on the waiting list.”
But, the Eden can legally only fit a certain amount of people.
“The most we can have, by the fire code, is 484 people in the courtyard,” said Eden sales coordinator Cindy Shoffstall. “We’re trying to stay in the guidelines.”
Shoffstall said there has been many conversations lately between the Eden sales staff and “Mindy” (Rottmund), about accommodating more students.
“If it would have been planned earlier to use the restaurant, we could have handled more people but now we’re too close to the event,” said Shoffstall.
Le had still not received a ticket as of fourth block Thursday, but was optimistic the shortage would be overcome.
“Many, many seniors are taking underclassmen or people from other schools, over the majority (of them),” said Rottmund explaining the problem. “It went from a 400 [body] to a 800 [body] because the number of underclassmen and students from different schools.”
It is not clear what was the major contribution that caused the prom seat shortage.
Schlegelmilch said she and other prom planners are doing as much as possible to accommodate seniors who still want to go.
“Some of the administrators can not go or are not taking dates anymore,” Schlegelmilch said. “So we may have enough spaces, but probably everyone will not be able to go. I’m sad that people aren’t going to be able to go but a lot of seniors went out of their class for dates. People waited until the last day, until the last hour to do it (buy tickets).”
Even with four years of preparation not everything was accounted for, “I don’t think we anticipated the number of students who would go outside of Penn Manor as dates,” said Schlegelmilch.
Or, scheme to go to the senior prom as juniors.
Melanie Rupp, a junior at Penn Manor, admitted that her and Bobby Goss, also a junior who she is currently dating, had plans of going to prom with two different seniors but spend the time there with each other.
“We were going to go to this year’s prom with Alex (Lombardo) and Chloe (Traup), but we were too scared to get kicked out of our senior year prom,” said Rupp.
Schlegelmilch said she predicts there’s a 50 percent chance that there will be people on the waiting list that will not get a seat. She added that the school’s prom is so popular this year,”there’s no venue in Lancaster county that can fit them.”