It has become a tradition for Long Beach High School to celebrate prom at Chateau Briand in Carle Place, but for many students who lost so much during superstorm Sandy, the occasion wasn't a priority this year.
“The prom committee polled seniors after the holiday break about their plans to attend the prom,” said teacher and prom adviser Adriane Glassberg. “The results indicated that our prom attendance would be down, in part because of the financial aftereffects of Sandy.”
Concerned about reaching the minimum number of attendees, Glassberg called the venue.
Not only did Joe Mandaro, executive director of corporate and special events at Chateau Briand, waive the minimum rule, but after meeting with owners Victor and Anthony Scotto and other members of their team, they decided to donate the prom free of charge.
“We didn’t want to deny any students the opportunity to attend their prom because of cost," he said.
From there, offers from the community continued to roll in. Pedestals Florist in Garden City Park called, saying they would donate the flowers. The Micari family, owners of Bridal Reflections and Long Beach residents, jumped on board and donated more than 150 bridesmaid dresses. Other donations came from Estelle's Dressy Dresses, Men's Wearhouse and Frippery Boutique.
Girls were invited to Chateau Briand Thursday night for a special shopping event where they chose from the donated dresses, and tuxedo arrangements are being made for the boys. Thanks to the generosity of all involved, many more students will be looking forward to prom this year.
“We are proud to play a role in helping the students of Long Beach High School celebrate this special milestone, and to give them happy prom memories, in spite of all the recent hardships they have faced,” Mandaro said.