Delaware high school picks up tab for senior send-off event

WILMINGTON, Delaware (WPVI) -- This past year has been like no other for students.

That's why one high school in Delaware is pulling out all the stops to make sure the prom goes off without a hitch.

A.I. Dupont High School in Wilmington first spent the day making sure students are healthy and able to attend Friday night's festivities. They hosted free COVID-19 testing in the auditorium.

It's not a traditional prom, rather a send-off dinner.

Seniors say they're thrilled to have an in-person event to cap off what has been an unprecedented and uncertain year.

"I can't wait to be with all my friends, crack jokes all night and make some memories to last lifetime," says Nick Wacksman, a senior at the school.

The school is also paying for the entire event.

Principal Kevin Palladinetti says this year has been stressful and also financially difficult.

He didn't want this dinner to be one more thing they couldn't participate in, so the school is picking up the whole tab.

"It's a little tip of the cap to the students for all that they've gone through since last March," Palladinetti says. "The seniors didn't really have much of a senior year and we just felt like we owed it to them to do something like this. We're happy to do it. We diverted a little funding and we covered the dinner."

The school says with mostly remote learning, spending was down this year. They're hosting the event at DuPont Country Club on Friday for students who attend the school.

Students need a negative COVID test to attend. So far 100 seniors have signed up.
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