Photos and Story By Crystal Hayduk
Chelsea High School juniors and seniors delighted in the opportunity to celebrate prom together at Robin Hills Farm on May 7.
School administrators welcomed more than 350 students to the Pasture Barn, a casual venue surrounded by plenty of open space, transformed to the perfect balance of elegance and fun through decorations and activities.
Senior Kendall Spink, student body president, said prom planning began at the start of this school year, when students chose the garden party theme and brainstormed entertaining activities.
“We’re thrilled to be able to actually have a prom this year,” she said. “We didn’t know if we’d do all the planning only to have it canceled [by the pandemic]. Having all this great outdoor space at Robin Hills Farm, along with the barn and the big tent has been wonderful.”
DJ “Shortstack” (Sydney Swetich) of Master Mixin’ Entertainment spun tunes from a list of requests students submitted during the week prior to the prom. Top 40 music was the most requested, although some rap and hip-hop were also in the mix.
Students headed outdoors to play lawn games, such as corn hole and giant Jenga; to roast marshmallows at the fire pit for making s’mores; or to take pictures with friends at a photobooth area. The upper level of the barn—above the dance floor—was a popular place for playing ping pong and posing for caricature artists.
An adjacent heated tent held tables and chairs where students could talk, relax, play board games, or snack on popcorn and decorate cookies. Signature mocktails of lemon refreshers and Shirley Temples satisfied thirsty prom goers.
There were many opportunities for capturing the evening in pictures. Photographer Kate Zurenko and students Megan Boughton and Lindsey Favre took hundreds of photos.
Themed decorations added to the garden party vibe. Maureen’s Designs in Chelsea provided entryway flowers and floral centerpieces. Independence Hall students designed and crafted the centerpiece lanterns.
Math teacher Karen Kurcz, one of the prom’s faculty chaperones, said it was great to witness the joy of the students being together again after the 2020 cancelation and the limited size prom on the football field last year.
Teachers Shawn Sinacola and Colleen Bertoni shared prom advising duties. Sinacola said the 2022 prom has been a long time coming. She had reserved Robin Hills Farm for 2017, but it didn’t happen because the farm temporarily shut down. “We’re so excited to bring prom back to a Chelsea location,” said Sinacola. “We hope many students went out to dinner in Chelsea, and stayed safe and close to home.”
Sinacola shared a long list of additional people to thank for the prom’s success as a fun and safe event: Adam Kovsky and Adriana Fabrizio–event coordinators at Robin Hills Farms–and the entire Robin Hills Farm staff, Carrie Hillis’ graphic design students for the prom posters and invitations, all of the parent and teacher chaperones, and district administration.
Spink said she is grateful for the tremendous amount of time and effort that Sinacola and Bertoni put into the prom. “We also had tons of community support—we are thankful for everything our community did to make this happen.”