BY ANNISTON WEBER
At 7 p.m. Friday evening, approximately 100 high school students made their way inside the Uptown Fox for a night filled with dancing, eating, drinking mocktails and spending time with their classmates.
When in-person classes ended for Kansas in March, many students were left wondering if they would get to celebrate the traditions that prior students were able to experience. Prom, graduation and senior trips came to a halt due to the growing concern surrounding the spread of COVID-19.
Brothers and business owners David and Jacob Proffitt decided they could help with one of the canceled events and organized a prom night for the Ellis County graduating class of 2020.
“We were talking about things that were starting to get canceled during that time,” David Proffitt said. “Then we were like, ‘Imagine that being your senior prom.’ You never get to redo that.”
The Proffitt brothers are familiar with a few of the seniors in the area, which added to their inspiration to host prom for the students.
“Some of our employees are graduating seniors,” Jacob Proffitt said. “We also know a few from [Munsch Fitness] and a lot of those kids train MMA with us.”
Overall, though, the pair just wanted to give back to the community.
“We know the schools have to worry about doing things like setting up graduation, so prom would probably be the last thing on their agenda,” David Proffitt said. “We figured we couldn’t exactly help them with graduating, but we could certainly help them celebrate each other one more time before they go to college.”
Megan Flavin, a recent high school graduate, said this event allowed her to make one more important high school memory since her senior year was cut short.
“No other class has experienced a prom quite as unique as this one,” Flavin said. “This prom means a lot to me. I’m looking forward to dancing with my friends and eating the snacks they got for us.”
In addition to David and Jacob Proffitt and the Uptown Fox, key sponsors of the event included the Auman Co., Jason Kippes Insurance, Lewis Automotive of Hays, Lang Diesel Inc., James and Taryn Lieker, Diamond R Jewelry, Kitsune Sushi, Munsch Fitness, Pepsi Corp., Prophecy MMA, RD Graphics, Robert Anderson Jr., Straight Line Remodeling, Taco Grande, Tiger Burgers and Walmart SuperCenter.
In addition to the sushi provided by Kitsune Sushi, and the wings provided by Tiger Burgers, the students had an open “bar” available to them where they could choose from a wide array of mocktails and sodas to drink.
“The drinks that were provided was one of my favorite parts of the night,” said Hanna Danner, another recent high school graduate. “I was also able to have some really nice conversations with my other friends who attended.”
Danner said she viewed the prom night as a way to say goodbye to high school on her own terms.
“This was something that I could go and do for me,” she said. “The night was my way of closing this chapter of my life and starting on the next one.”