UPDATE: The votes are in, and East Rockaway High School, the only finalist from Long Island, is the winner. The students, who are still unable to re-enter their high school building after superstorm Sandy hit with $10 million worth of damage, will be awarded a dream prom designed by David Tutera complete with complementary dresses, tuxedos, beauty services, a celebrity guest and more.
"One of the hardest-hit during Hurricane Sandy, East Rockaway's student body is currently being schooled in a local elementary school in Baldwin, NY, and it is still unknown when they will reopen its doors," Rent the Runway said in a statement Monday. "East Rockaway High School North was one of four finalists chosen by Rent the Runway’s Prom Committee. . . the finalists rallied their communities, friends and family for votes, and East Rockaway High School won based on the amount of votes they raised."
Well, the judges have narrowed it down to four finalists, and one Long Island school made the cut: East Rockaway High School.
"The school, a huge part of our community, suffered approximately $10 million worth of damage and it is questionable whether or not the students will be able to re-enter the building and finish the school year in their own classrooms," Stefani Tinelli, a 2009 graduate and the salutatorian of her class, told Newsday. "They have been displaced to abandoned schools in Baldwin since Sandy ravaged the East Coast."
Tinelli's brother and many of her friends' siblings still attend the school.
"These students have lost so much, from their school, to their cars, to their homes, and it would be a shame for them to lose their chance at having a happy send-off from their high school as well," she added.
East Rockaway, part of the smallest school district in Nassau County, is now one of four finalists in the competition. The others are from Tuckerton, Toms River and Atlantic City, New Jersey.
If they win, they'll get their prom designed by Tutera, complimentary designer dresses from Rent the Runway, tuxedos from Men's Wearhouse, beauty services from Lancôme and DRYBAR, a surprise celebrity musical guest, college text book rentals and more.
The decision is now up to the voters, who can vote every 24 hours at renttherunway.com/winaprom through April 3. The winner will be announced April 5.