Joplin prom celebrates the future - KCTV5

Joplin prom celebrates the future

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JOPLIN, MO (KCTV) -

Hundreds of high school students who survived last year's devastating tornado in Joplin enjoyed a prom to remember.

The dance was announced a few months ago during a special video from pop singer Katy Perry.

In the days after an EF-5 tornado ripped through Joplin, residents got used to seeing cameras around, documenting the destruction.

But Saturday night the cameras were flashing for a different reason.

"It is pretty exciting.  I feel like a celebrity," promgoer Flannery Gafken said.

And a battered community, including the injured and trapped, enjoyed a much better view.

"All the different dresses and tuxes, the kids have smiles on their faces," parent Arhonda Delzeell said.

Still, there were faces missing from the crowd.

Lantz Hare would have been a junior this year, walking in with his classmates, but he was caught driving during the storm and was killed.

"He was the nicest person.  He would do anything for you," Matthew Hare said.

Matthew carries this brother's memory inside Saturday night, along with a striking resemblance that he says keeps Lantz present.

"It helps.  It makes it less hard, I guess, because I'm just reminded that he was a good person," Hare said.

And the night was about remembering the good, while celebrating the future.

"It is just a victory call, that this is our city.  We are rebuilding ... no tornado can take us down," Morgan Burnside said.

The night was made possible by all the donations that came together, not to mention the pop star that threw her name behind the prom. 

There were donations from everything, including dresses and accessories to tuxes and discounted tickets, all in an effort to show support for the Joplin community, and help the students have a night to remember. 

Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.)  All rights reserved.

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