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She surprised him with a backyard prom. And face masks made from her dress.

Alyssa Amato said she and her mother spent

Alyssa Amato said she and her mother spent "two or three weeks" planning the event. Credit: Lisa Amato

Alyssa Amato got all of the essential prom accessories for her big night: a corsage, a boutonniere and, of course, matching face masks.

The venue? Her backyard.

Amato, a 17-year-old junior at Longwood High School, became a pandemic party planner to surprise boyfriend Max Lamitie with a prom for two. She planned the event for June 12, the day Longwood was supposed to have its prom.

Lamitie, 17, is a senior at Longwood, and Amato felt bad that his final year of high school was uprooted due to COVID-19.

“I thought it would be a fun way to make him happy for his senior year, and to surprise him,” she said. “He didn’t expect it at all.”

Amato said she and her mother, Lisa Amato, spent "two or three weeks" planning it out.

“It was a kind of a last-minute idea while we were waiting to hear what was going on with [Longwood] prom,” Alyssa Amato said. 

First, Amato got her dress altered: an orange, mermaid-style gown with a train.

“It’s his favorite color,” she said.

Amato and her mother headed to Genc Alterations in Rocky Point. Lisa got an idea while there, and with the excess fabric, the seamstress created matching face masks for Amato and her boyfriend — free of charge.

Next, they bought orange balloons and the quintessential corsage and boutonniere. They also purchased plenty of decorations, including a display for their table that said “Prom” in gold, glittery letters. Amato also picked out orange cups, plates and utensils, and the family ordered food for the big event.

Amato and her mother let Lamitie's mother, Lisa Lamitie, in on the plan. She came to their home in Ridge to drop off his formal wear the night before.

“It was a little hard with the orange,” she said with a laugh. “But I found something in my husband’s closet that matched.”

Amato and Lamitie have been together for 2 1/2 years. They hadn’t been seeing a lot of each other during the pandemic. So when the invitation for a casual hangout with both of their families came up, Lamitie came over in shorts and a T-shirt.

“I thought our families were just hanging out in the backyard,” he said. “I walked back there, and she’s in her prom dress.”

He said he was “really surprised” as Amato’s mother snapped photos and music played from Amato’s prom playlist she made for the occasion. He changed into his suit and they did a whole photo shoot, face masks and all. 

In the fall, Lamitie plans to attend SUNY Plattsburgh to study special education and play lacrosse. But not before getting a prom night that even a pandemic couldn't halt.

“It was wonderful,” Lisa Lamitie said. “They always do nice things for him, so it wasn’t surprising. It brought tears to my eyes.”

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