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East County Wednesday, May 5, 2021 7 months ago

Private prom excites Lakewood Ranch High students

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Lakewood Ranch High School seniors ready to have prom memories.
by: Liz Ramos Staff Writer

This year wasn’t what Nick Lenchinsky, a senior at Lakewood Ranch High School, had hoped.

His last homecoming was canceled. He couldn’t enjoy senior privileges. The school wasn’t having a prom.

So when his mother, Angie Lenchinsky Scarpa, came up to him in early April and said she booked the Hyatt Regency Sarasota, so he could have a prom, he was surprised. 

“I was excited,” Lenchinsky said. “I was able to tell my friends, and they were excited and surprised. All my friends are telling me they love her, and they’re so thankful. They can’t wait because they finally have something to look forward to this year. It’s something to get their mind off COVID-19.”

At the beginning of April, Lenchinsky Scarpa was scrolling on Facebook when she saw a story about a mother in Venice hosting a prom for her child’s senior class.

“I was like, ‘Yeah, there’s no reason we can’t do that,’” she said. “I was upset when I found out Lakewood Ranch was not having a prom. I just thought it was ridiculous. There’s no reason for it.”

Lenchinsky Scarpa put a post on her Facebook page saying she wanted to host a prom for this year’s Lakewood Ranch High seniors, and Jackie Llamas, the mother of senior Meghan Llamas, offered to help.

That’s when the ball started rolling, and the two parents worked together to plan a senior prom that is not a school-sponsored event.

Both Lenchinsky Scarpa and Llamas were disappointed to see so many events, traditions and special occasions canceled or altered as a result of the pandemic.

“My daughter was excited last year for the junior prom,” Llamas said. “She didn’t go so far as to buy a dress, but she bought the ticket. She was so excited last year and was heartbroken when it was canceled. It’s going to be a great function for them this year.”

When it came to finding a location, the biggest challenge wasn’t finding one that was open and available but rather a location that could host at least 600 students.

Llamas said she’s hoping for at least half of the senior class, which has more than 600 students, to attend the prom, and she figures many of them will have dates.

Next, Lenchinsky Scarpa and Llamas came up with a theme: A Night in Paris.

“It was the first thing that popped in my head,” Llamas said.

Lenchinsky Scarpa and Llamas said they’ve received positive feedback about the prom, especially from the seniors.

“I wasn’t able to get the [prom] experience my junior year, so I’m looking forward to being able to go with my friends and go with someone and just experience what prom is supposed to be like,” Lenchinsky said.

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