High school's senior ball short on funds

February 26, 2009 5:55:50 PM PST
A high school in eastern Contra Costa County is having trouble raising money for the annual high school senior ball. Local businesses have been hit hard by the housing crisis and the bad economy and just can't help out.

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It is supposed to be a night to remember for many a high school student -- the senior ball.

"I know it's like part of the high school ritual and all that, but it's a lot of money man," said Liberty High student David Lisenby.

Brentwood is a community hard hit by the foreclosure crisis and dramatic downturn in the economy. Students at Liberty High have had an especially hard time raising money to keep ticket prices down for May's senior ball.

Local businesses just have nothing to give.

"We're finding that they're willing to help, but they just can't," says senior class president Ashley Abreu. "They don't have the funds right now to donate to us."

According to the local chamber, gross retail sales in the area have actually increased in the past year, thanks to the opening of the Streets of Brentwood shopping mall.

But elsewhere in town, times are tough. A longtime local restaurant closed its doors a few months ago. Some other businesses in Brentwood that are still open are barely hanging on.

"Even if we wanted to, we couldn't. We can't. We're barely making it ourselves," said business owner Theresa Hartman.

Hairstylist Amanda Kutchera can't give money to the senior ball, but she does plan to offer discount hairstyles to those who go.

"I'm just going to do what I can to make it as easy and fun for them as possible," said Kutchera.

Meantime, organizers worry if the monetary donations don't come in soon, they will have to raise ticket prices to a hundred dollars or more, well out of reach for many seniors.

"We know there are a lot of problems at home with these economic times," said organizer Hailey Parish.

It's tough to build the memory of a lifetime if you can't afford the ticket to get there.

LINK: Liberty High

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