Furman set to host first prom
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Furman High School leadership students display a banner for the first prom they will host outdoors on campus. The event will be held May 13.
Raffle tickets for Furman Prom
Prize: 7-day stay at a resort owned by Worldmark by Windham
Cost: $30 (only 100 tickets sold)
Purchase: Furman High School office or call the school (675-4482) to make arrangements
For the first time in school history, Furman High School will host a prom.
The brainchild of Furman senior Jenna Bogart, Furman will host the prom on campus in an outdoor setting, with dinner included, on May 13.
“I transferred to Furman from Madera South after my sophomore year,” Bogart said. “I kept seeing all of these other students posting about prom. I realized Furman never had a prom. They have been put back in a corner. I didn’t want other kids left out when they see social media and we were never invited. I wanted our first prom to happen. I brought it up last summer during summer school. We finally got it started two months ago. My principal was fully on board. She said lets do it. She was very welcoming about it.”
However, with hosting the prom, Furman High School is looking for volunteers and donations from the community.
“We will be having it at Furman outside,” said Bogart’s mother Bobby Jo Fernandez. “We are doing fundraisers and are asking help from the community and former Furman High graduates to help put this on. We’re decorating the entire outside to make it beautiful.”
The school has raised $2,400 so far with many fundraisers. However, the decorations cost the school $2,600.
“We’re still fundraising as much as we can,” Fernandez said. “I’ve been doing a lot of yard sales to help bring in money. We’ve been blessed with receiving donated dresses for the girls. We’re needing clothing for the boys. A lot of kids don’t have that extra money to get fitted for their clothes.”
Furman High School recently announced a raffle with proceeds to help fund the prom with any extra benefitting the FHS leadership class. Raffle tickets are $30 and are for a seven-day stay at a resort owned by WorldMark by Windham. The drawing will be May 11 and are limited to 100 tickets. Tickets can be purchased at the Furman office or call the school to make arrangements for delivery.
The initial plan was to have a prom last year, but the COVID-19 pandemic had something to say about it.
“Jenna brought it back,” Fernandez said. “This is a leadership class for kids to gain credits for graduation. This is put together by the leadership class. They are helping when they are at school. We did a rummage sale and bake sale. We are doing everything we can because it’s a small class. There’s about 10 in the class.”
Bogart expects most of the senior class to attend. She is also hoping to raise extra money to help fund the senior trip to the coast.
“For the Pismo trip, we’re going to Cal Poly and the mission,” she said. “We are also going to the boardwalk and the beach. Whatever money is leftover from the prom will help pay for those that can’t afford it. I don’t want kids to feel left out because they don’t have the money. If we can fundraise for them, it will go to them.”
Donations can be dropped off at the school and ask for Furman student advocate Sylvia Anguiano.
Bogart is excited about seeing her vision of a prom come true and finally happen, but it’s not just her and her classmates who are excited.
“The staff is getting excited about it,” she said.
“It’s a small staff and are excited,” Fernandez said. “Some of them haven’t had a prom. Furman is more of a family. Once you graduate, you can always come back. It’s a great school. They love their kids and doubled enrollment because they are now kindergarten to 12th grade. There’s a huge waiting list. Now, people see how the staff is caring and wanting to help these kids. Furman is helping these kids. Some of them are going to college. All they needed was someone in a school staff to say they could do it and guide them. That’s what Furman does. We’re trying to give them memories some of the big schools have.”
“The atmosphere is great,” Anguiano said. “This is addressing a need that the kids had and it was something they felt couldn’t be done. They are happy and feel included. They don’t feel disenchanted.”
Fernandez said her daughter has enjoyed her time at Furman and she wants to help students in the future.
“They have helped her so much, Jenna wants to work there,” Fernandez said. “There are many that want to come back and help the kids. She is going to college when she graduates and come back to help these kids.”
Bogart plans to attend Madera Community College when she graduates and then transfers to a four-year college.
“I have a lot of different professions I want to get into,” Bogart said. “Going back to Furman is the first one to get started. They already told me to come back if I need any help with college questions.”