By JOSHUA THOMAS
CANAJOHARIE -- Saturday, the light of 150 promgoers shone bright during the Canajoharie Central School District's annual Jr./Sr. Prom, dubbed "Neon Night". Around 9:10 p.m., as soon as it was pitch black outside, the lights went out in the Canajoharie High School atrium, which had been transformed into a party hub with a circular, inset dance floor. Then, the black-lights came on, illuminating the spattered glow paint, sparkling clothing and neon sunglasses sported by the students.
This year, Canajoharie's senior class decided they wanted to put most of the money they'd earned through fundraising activities toward their senior trip, so the goal was to have the most cost-effective prom possible. "The downscaled the spending," said Junior/Senior Co-Advisor Linda Klock (working with Junior Co-Advisor Heather Rockwell and Senior Co-Advisor Tracy Brandt), noting that students used items stored in the high school's basement, such as fabrics, which were repurposed and adorned with glow-reactive paint.
"We recycled quite a bit this year," Klock said.
This year's Prom Committee only contained 20 students, "one of the smallest committees I've ever worked with," said Klock, explaining that a lot of students were spread so thin between clubs, sports and other events, that many had to pick and choose which activities to participate in.
"The seniors really took charge though this year," she said, adding that they were incredibly devoted to putting on the best prom possible.
The seniors did all of the ordering, painting and decorating, working from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday to prepare the atrium, where students decided to hold the prom instead of the usual location of the high school gymnasium, which Klock said is often too hot and spacious. The air conditioned, intimate atrium, she said, was the perfect fit for the "simple, but fun" affair.
"The kids really enjoyed themselves this year and had a great time," Klock said, noting that one senior -- who has attended four proms -- said that this one was her favorite, by far.
This year's entertainment, aside from all the crazy, constantly-moving black-light action, was provided by Resident DJ Stephanie Bartkus, a physical education teacher in the district, assisted by Klock's daughter, Sara Klock, playing a mix of music ranging from 80's hits, to head-banging metal, to country tunes.
Klock, who said this year is her last as an advisor, stated, "I was so happy to see that my seniors had a great time. It made me feel good to know that they enjoyed themselves as much as they did."
This year's action packed Post Prom Party, held at the East Hill Elementary School and featuring a slip-n-slide, swimming and a psychic, was planned by parents for the first time, as CCS didn't have enough students to facilitate a SADD chapter.