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NDSU hosting college prom for those who could not go because of COVID

COVID-19 canceled countless proms all across the country. It is why NDSU is hosting its own prom for people who have now waited two years to live out a high school tradition.

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Kelsey Hooker holds up her prom dress in excitement, finally able to use it after her aunt and cousin helped buy it two years ago.
Nick Broadway
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FARGO — Like many schools across the country, St. Francis (Minnesota) High School kept delaying prom throughout the early pandemic days of 2020.

"Pushing it off and pushing it off and then they're finally like, we can't do it." With dress and date at the ready, then-senior Kelsey Hooker was devastated. "Extremely disappointed, I completely understand why of course."

For her, this was supposed to be more than living out a high school tradition. Her mother had terminal cancer — wanting to send her off to senior prom and share the soon-to-be memories with her daughter.

She passed away that September.

"It would have meant a lot for her to be able to see me go to my senior prom," Hooker said.

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Two years later, she is getting another chance.

"Really thought that some students missed out on that and I wanted to give that to them," explained Laura Friedmann.

The NDSU mechanical engineering senior is helping set up a college prom for students who missed their chance because of COVID. They are holding it at the Air Museum, which will be decorated, catered and DJed by professionals. Friedmann said it will be to a standard college students would expect.

"Then they're going to walk in, and we have these really big letters that say 'North Dakota State,' we'll have all of the food," Friedmann said.

All 1,200 tickets sold out with students from NDSU and other nearby colleges signing up.

Hooker still has that same dress, and the same boyfriend two years later.

"I love the color," she said while holding up the dress. "The color is absolutely my favorite part of it."

They are ready to walk the carpet which happens to be green, since it is an NDSU thing.

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"I know my mom won't be able to see the finished product and whatnot because she did pass, September 2020, but again, I'm also getting that piece of high school back that was robbed from me in a sense," Hooker said.

The 1,200 students head to their prom tomorrow at 8:00 p.m.

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