Tuesday, Apr 24, 2018
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Firms chip in to help Lake seniors have last dance

In June, Nagoya Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi served food to cleanup volunteers at a Lake Township church after a devastating tornado swept through the area.

Next week, the Perrysburg restaurant will serve dinner to 250 Lake High School students and guests before their 2011 prom.

Students, whose high school was destroyed by the tornado, paid $10 a ticket -- $40 less than past years -- for the prom to be at Hilton Garden Inn in Perrysburg. The restaurant, hotel, and other businesses are donating food, space, and other items for the prom, and the $10 fee will go toward deposits for next year's formal as the school traditionally has done, Tammy Tapley, Lake High School's student activities director, said.

"They'll get quite an evening out of that," she said of the $10 fee.

Mackenzie Conine, Lake Senior Class president, said she has purchased her dress and is thankful for the outpouring of donations.

"I definitely think it's something everyone is looking forward to, especially since it's at Levis Commons," she said. "It's very appreciated."

She added, "I think it will probably be the highlight of the year."

While students normally are a central part of prom planning, they didn't find out about this year's venue until March, when tickets went on sale earlier than usual so Nagoya could prepare, Ms. Tapley said.

"We had to let the cat out of the bag," said Ms. Tapley, adding that a record number of tickets were sold.

Nagoya's owner came to the school district with the donated prom suggestion and got the Hilton Garden Inn involved, Ms. Tapley said. Hilton Garden Inn, then, got other businesses to donate items or services, including some surprises, she said.

"It seems like it never stops," Ms. Tapley said.

After the tornado destroyed Lake High School, about 450 students are attending classes in an Owens Community College building in Northwood until a replacement school is ready. The new high school is expected to be ready for the 2012-13 academic year.

All students were kept together, and Miss Conine said her senior year has been good.

"It's just different -- it's more or less just like school," she said. "It just had a different atmosphere, but it's still good."

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