By Seth Daniel
As the Chelsea High School (CHS) senior prom approaches this Saturday, ticket sales are picking up, but by Wednesday were still a long way from the usual 150 to 200 tickets sold for the school’s annual grand affair, and one city councillor wonders if something can be done.
“I get mixed comments about it,” said Councillor Yamir Rodriguez, who graduated CHS in 2005 and has worked for many years at Russo Tux on the Parkway. “People say they don’t want to go, that it’s boring, or they don’t like their class. Other say they don’t want to waste money and some don’t want to make up the detentions. They’ll tell me they don’t want to make up the detentions because they have 10 or so and would rather not be bothered with it. We used to get at least 80 kids renting tuxes here at Russo’s from Chelsea by now and we only have 20. I just want to know what we can do to help. I’m a graduate and prom is a special time. If there’s anything I can do to help, even if it’s next year, I’d like to do that.”
At CHS, Principal Priti Johari said there were 30 tickets sold by Monday for the prom, which is at the Logan Hilton in East Boston this Saturday, May 21. However, by Wednesday, they had sold 61 tickets and expected to have the usual numbers.
“The last couple of years, we have had 150 to 200 tickets and we still expect that same number this year,” she said. “Seniors have to pay off book fines and have to make up detentions in the next few days and get everything in order. The senior advisors said kids are still pumped about prom and they do expect 150 to 200 again. As far as I know, no one has brought up cost as a factor. To me, it’s pretty typical that tickets go late and I’m not worried.”
Meanwhile, Rodriguez said he has seen some decline in the mood around prom over the last several years – whether at his job or in the high school community.
“Every year, at the store, we see 10 fewer than the year before and its been like that for a few years now,” he said. “I remember when I went, we would get 100 people here at the store looking for tuxes from Chelsea. I don’t know if it’s about the cost or money and if it’s about money, I’d like to see what I can do to help. Russo’s would certainly help. I would go to the school to measure kids. We could do a fashion show. Whatever it takes.”
Johari reiterated she isn’t worried about the enthusiasm and said the senior class this year has actually initiated more activities – voting to take a senior class trip to Great America.
“They raised money to pay for that trip,” she said. “They’re actually doing more than a class typically does.”