‘Pay it forward’: Perry High donates prizes for ADM's after-prom in heartfelt gesture (2024)

Chrissy Reynolds got goosebumps when she saw Perry students carrying TVs, speakers, headphones, games and more into Adel DeSoto Minburn High School on Friday, April 19.

“We were just blown away. It was just so heart-warming given everything they have gone through as a school,” said Reynolds, a member of ADM’s after prom committee. “One of their first thoughts after (receiving the JCPenney donation) was that they were going to give back to ADM. That says a lot about the students at Perry and the people in that community.”

ADM’s monetary donation in the wake of the deadly Jan. 4 shooting inspired Perry High School to return the favor.

Perry received a $50,000 donation from JCPenney to help with prom costs during an assembly with "Good Morning America" on Friday, April 12. One week later, Perry’s prom committee paid it forward by dropping off prizes for ADM’s after prom.

“ADM had given us a donation from a basketball game just to help us out and support us,” said Quin Mahler-Moreno, Perry junior class vice president and prom committee member. "Once we got the donation (from JCPenney), we knew we needed to pay it forward and donate some prizes back to ADM’s after-prom committee.”

More: JCPenney gives Perry High a $50,000 donation to make first prom after shooting memorable

Perry students shop for ADM's after-prom

Emily Leslie, a parent on the junior class prom committee, said the students helped shop for prizes before dropping them off on April 19 to ADM High School.

“It was really nice to see their hearts being filled in that way to pick out the prizes that they knew they wanted but they were going to be giving them to another school and show that love,” Leslie added.

Jamie Hatchitt, a member of the ADM after-prom committee, said they were “speechless” when the Perry students walked into the high school with the prizes.

“We just wanted to give to them without anything in return and we really want to make sure our students know when they do receive these gifts that it was from the generosity of the Perry kiddos that wanted to share their blessings with others and give back,” she added. “We really want to thank them for even thinking of us and we were seriously blown away.”

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ADM after-prom committee raised funds during varsity basketball games

Hatchitt said the ADM committee had originally planned to raise funds for its after-prom activities during the Jan. 5 ADM-Winterset basketball games. Those plans changed following the Jan. 4 shooting that eventually left three dead.

“It just didn’t feel right to be focusing on after prom when our neighbors are dealing with a tragedy so we decided at the last minute that we were going to switch things up and see what we could do (to help),” Reynolds added.

The committee donated all of the funds raised during the doubleheader to the Perry prom committee, Hatchitt said, as a way for Perry to know “they were in our hearts.”

Leslie said ADM’s donation meant a lot, as it helped Perry reach its original fundraising goal.

“It was such a blessing in regards to them helping us feel like we had achieved that without being able to have our last three fundraising events that we had scheduled,” she added.

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A heartfelt 'thank you'

Mahler-Moreno said PHS students wanted to pay it forward after learning they were one of five schools nationwide to receive a $50,000 donation.

“Once we knew that we had a surplus of money from the donation that we received, we thought it was a really important thing to pay it back to (ADM),” she said.

Hatchitt is looking forward to handing out the donated prizes to the ADM students and telling them they came from Perry students.

“(I hope) they know how special it was that Perry gave those prizes to us and are really grateful to see the gift that keeps on giving,” she said of Perry’s donation from JCPenney.

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‘Pay it forward’: Perry High donates prizes for ADM's after-prom in heartfelt gesture (1)

Local proms are near

Perry’s prom is set for Saturday, April 27. A walk-in will be held at 3:30 p.m. in the high school gym. The students will then head to the Hotel Pattee, where they will enjoy a pasta bar and desserts. The dance will be held at La Poste. Students will then head to Spare Time in West Des Moines for after-prom.

ADM’s prom will be held on Saturday, May 4. The grand march will be held at 4:30 p.m. in the ADM High School north gym. Tickets are $5 for individuals and $10 for families, with funds used for next year’s after-prom. Students will head to the Decades Event Center in West Des Moines for prom before returning to the high school for various after-prom activities.

This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: Perry High donates prizes for ADM's after-prom

‘Pay it forward’: Perry High donates prizes for ADM's after-prom in heartfelt gesture (2024)
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