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West Zone seniors attend school proms

ACelebrations held at the Westin Cape CoralBy CJ HADDAD cjhaddad@breezenewspapers.com Thanks to the efforts of Cape Coral Mayor Joe Coviello and members of the business community, local high school seniors were able to experience possibly the most magical night in all of their four years: prom. Seniors around the county and country have had their final and most memorable year of high school cut short and minimized due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Coviello said he wanted to make sure seniors were able to have that prom night experience while in a safe environment. Beginning last Sunday and culminating tonight, students from Island Coast, Ida Baker, Mariner, Oasis, North Fort Myers and Cape Coral High School were able to celebrate their final moments as a senior at the Westin Cape Coral. “The pandemic almost removed a pivotal moment in the lives of our area high school students,” Coviello said. “However, our community banded together to make this milestone a reality.” Coviello raised more than $20,000 from loca

By CJ HADDAD - | Jul 30, 2020

Thanks to the efforts of Cape Coral Mayor Joe Coviello and members of the business community, local high school seniors were able to experience possibly the most magical night in all of their four years: prom.

Seniors around the county and country have had their final and most memorable year of high school cut short and minimized due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Coviello said he wanted to make sure seniors were able to have that prom night experience while in a safe environment.

Beginning last Sunday and culminating tonight, students from Island Coast, Ida Baker, Mariner, Oasis, North Fort Myers and Cape Coral High School were able to celebrate their final moments as a senior at the Westin Cape Coral.

“The pandemic almost removed a pivotal moment in the lives of our area high school students,” Coviello said. “However, our community banded together to make this milestone a reality.”

Coviello raised more than $20,000 from local businesses to make this a reality, along with donations from groups that included as The Westin, the Cape Coral police and fire departments, the Rotary Foundation of Cape Coral, Joe Mazurkiewicz and BJM Consulting, Ed Bolter of Lamar Advertising and numerous others.

“Our seniors missed out on a lot this year,” Coviello said. “We want them to enjoy themselves, to be safe and to wish them the best in their future endeavors.”

Each of the proms hosted at The Westin’s robust conference center gave students plenty of space to enjoy each other, as well as some music and dancing — all while keeping social distancing practices in place and masks worn by all, Coviello said. Temperatures of all students were taken before they entered as well.

Coviello, who has attended each of the proms, said 90-100 students showed up each night for their school’s celebration. He said hand sanitizer is available nearly everywhere you looked.

“The kids have done a great job,” Coviello said. “They understand the situation.”

The proms have been chaperoned by the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), who are all background checked by the Cape Coral Fire Department prior to their membership.

Coviello also received some heartwarming thanks from parents.

“I’m humbled by everyone’s efforts to make this happen for the children!” wrote one parent. “Yes, the prom entry was perfect. They had a wonderful evening. My son told me last night, ‘Mom, that was the best prom, I think even better than all of Baker’s!’

“That is saying a bunch, because he always said the formal events were great at Baker. I would like to thank everyone involved who pulled this off for the kids; truly thank you!”

Another parent wrote, “I just wanted to express our sincere gratitude for organizing and hosting a prom event for the seniors in Cape Coral. My daughter attended with the Oasis High School students. The prom gave her an opportunity to get dolled up and to celebrate with her last hoorah with friends. We just want you to know that we appreciate all you did!!!! Please extend our thanks to anyone else on your team or in the community that has helped as well. You have seriously all made a positive impact on such a dreadful situation.”

Coviello thanked the numerous sponsors involved in making these proms possible, title sponsors included: Cape Coral Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), International Union of Painters & Allied Trades (IUPAT), Cape Coral Professional Firefighters Association (CCPFFA), LCEC, Storm Smart, Ecological Laboratories and Williamson & Sons. Other sponsors were Zak’s Jewelry, Daylor Inc., Papa Joe’s Restaurant, Anthony Tiljak PA, Aubuchon Homes, Crown Trophy, Scoops on First and Margaret Burwash.

SuEllen Fabbrini-Hobel of SuEllen’s Floral Company donated floral arrangements. Nicholas Decker, Arthur Printing and Ben Henry from Lamar Advertising distributed invitations.

–Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj

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