Connected to community, students pick Town Hall for prom


Through the grand columns of the building’s front façade and into the large ornate auditorium of Brandon’s Town Hall waltzed about 100 Otter Valley Union High School juniors and seniors for this year’s School Prom.

It was the first time the town hall had been used for Prom since 2012, prom committee organizers said, adding that they opted to have it there this year because of this class’ connection with the community.

“It is a super pretty building,” said Isabella Falco, a member of the 15-student prom committee, “and it’s local and we’re very close with our community.”

It also turned out to be much more cost-effective. Being able to use the venue for no cost let the students to spread their prom funds elsewhere, allowing for a much grander celebration than could be had in other venues.

“Over the years I have been at proms that were held at the Victorian Inn in Wallingford, the Killington Grand, the Brandon Inn, and the Middlebury Town Hall Theater,” said Jim Avery, OVUHS principal. “This year’s prom committee has worked hard at providing a prom that is a wonderful affair and that is not cost prohibitive.”

The Friends of the Town Hall, who take over programming for the venue from the town’s Recreation Department for the months of May through December, were happy to provide the space to the students.

“They were looking for a place in the Brandon area, checking prices and availability,” said Dennis Marden, executive director of the FOTH. “The town felt that since it was a school in our area that we shouldn’t charge them. We always let all educational groups use the hall free of charge so it was the right thing to do. They fell in love with the space and we scheduled a few meetings with the prom committee to iron out all the details.”

“We have enjoyed helping the students with the set up, decorations, etc.,” Marden said. “It is an incredible group of students and I am sure this prom was a big success.”

Avery said everyone felt that the prom went very well and that the students really enjoyed themselves.

“The venue was beautiful and one that I hope we use again in the future,” Avery said. “There is a great “feel” in the refurbished town hall and the town hall folks who were there to support the prom were gracious hosts.  Hats off to our students that worked so hard to plan the prom and who also worked with Dennis Marden, Richard Baker, and Kathy Mathis from the Town Hall group.”


Even as the committee started preparing for the event back in September, time seemed to fly by for the students.

“Back in December, it felt like we had so much time,” Falco said. “We realized at the first of the year how fast it was coming and we thought we really had to get on this… Money was always a concern,” she said, noting that it the class faced the typical problems of finding the time to stage fundraisers, though the ones they had drew good turnouts.

“We held three fundraisers, a bottle drive, a bake sale and a Yankee candle sale,” Falco said, adding that they did manage to pull everything together in the end. “I call it Prom on a budget.”

Over the past week, the team has worked for several hours each night, after school and on weekends to get the Town Hall ready for the dance. There were the typical worries that the decorations wouldn’t arrive on time or that there wouldn’t be adequate parking, but all worked out just fine and their mission was accomplished.

“We just wanted to make it a fun night for everyone,” Falco said, “and we did. Everyone seemed to have a really great time and people were really impressed with the decorations, especially the chocolate fountain.”

Falco said it was good to see everyone dancing and smiling together one last time before the seniors go off to college.

“This senior class is very close to the juniors and have been a big part of our lives,” Falco said. “It was truly a night to remember.”

Share this story:
Back to Top