DANBURY, Conn. — Two Danbury High School seniors have created a GoFundMe page to raise money for a prom for non-mainstream students.
Shivam Soni and Gabrielle Cardoso said that money raised for the prom will be used for food, decorations and other expenses. They expect to have between 80-100 students at the prom, which will be held on Friday, April 7, at Danbury High School.
After setting an initial fundraising goal of $500, the organizers quickly met that mark and elevated the goal to $2,000. The campaign opened on Saturday.
“We’re very surprised at how it has taken off,’’ Cardoso said. “We were going down Padanaram Road and Newtown Road asking for donations from various companies and we weren’t getting much luck. We were becoming discouraged. We decided to take it through social media and we feel so blessed that we have a community that stands behind us.”
Cardoso and Soni have been part of the non-mainstream community in the Danbury school system for several years and have participated with Unified Sports programs. They have been planning the prom for about 1½ months. “We love these kids so much,’’ Cardoso said. “We want to leave a lasting legacy at Danbury High School and hopefully this is an event that is around for a lot of years to come.”
There will be no charge for the prom. Soni said they are relying primarily on donations to support the event, and that they are encouraging mainstream students to buddy with non-mainstream students. “We didn’t want anyone to feel left out financially,’’ Soni said. “We want it to be open to everyone.”
They will provide security and teacher chaperones to ensure safety. Students have rallied for the cause, with most of the donations ranging between $5 and $20 from their classmates.
“It’s amazing,’’ Cardoso said. “There have been a lot of students who have volunteered to donate plates and cups, but also hairdressing and hair care. We have a lot of students who are willing to put their time and effort into this for little or nothing in return. We’re very proud of our community.”
Students interested in assisting with the event can contact Cardoso and Somi through the GoFundMe page. Click here to visit the GoFundMe page.