BANQUETE, Texas — A mother of two Banquete High School students is working to raise money for the school’s senior and junior prom amid fundraising challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The organizer of the campaign, Linlee Carbajal, said she very recently realized the funding for prom was in jeopardy.
"The kids got an email saying you had to choose between prom and senior trip, and that’s whenever we knew that maybe it’s a funding issue," she said. "A couple of us parents — we contacted the school and said we would like to help fundraise, if at all possible."
Carbajal said, normally, much of the expenses from prom would come from the money made at concession stands by the junior class during home football games.
"I think we only got to have like two home games this year and attendance was very limited," she said. "I would say probably like 100 people in attendance were only allowed to be there, and so that did not raise enough money, or even come close to what they need to put on the junior and senior prom."
The fundraiser’s goal is $5,000. Carbajal believes they might be able to reach it.
"I know this community — we don’t have any like big organizations here — but we have a lot of people with really big hearts that always want to come through for our kids," she said. “We really wanted to give something back to show these kids we see what you do, we see your hard work, we see that none of this is through any fault of your own, and we want to give you a special night. Especially for like our seniors, one last special night.”
Students we spoke with agreed it would be nice to hold the in-person event.
"Something that I really miss was pep rallies, because I’m a cheerleader, so I always look forward to cheering, pep rallies, but we didn’t get to have those especially because nobody’s really in school anymore, so it’s been a lot different senior year, but we’re making it work," said Lorena Ramirez, a senior who will soon be attending Our Lady of the Lake University. "Prom is very important. It’s where we make a lot of memories and especially since were seniors, we’re going off to college, so it’s going to be one of the last moments we have together with all of the memories."
"To have it maybe stripped away from you — it kind of hurts," added Joshua Moreno, a senior who will be attending the University of Oregon. "For them to, get all this together and get the GoFundMe, it really means a lot, just to have us have one of our last 'hoo-rah' before we go to college and start our own life."
Although the fundraiser specifies that it is not directly affiliated with Banquete ISD, their superintendent, Max Thompson, said he applauds their efforts.
"There just wasn’t that much money to be raised at football games and concession stands," he said. "I’m proud of the parents that they’re willing to go that extra mile to try to provide that opportunity for the kids."
If the event is funded, it could commence on May 15.