INDEPENDENCE, Ohio – The votes are in, and the Hilltoppers better slip on their dancing shoes.
Chardon High School is the winner of Rock Your Prom, a contest for a $5,000 prom with all the fixings for a magical night.
“It took a whole viral life of its own. It’s amazing,” said Bo Matthews, program director for KISS-FM, co-sponsor of the event.
The contest started days before the tragic shooting that took the lives of three students at Chardon High.
But when the community heard of the contest, Matthews said the votes started pouring in for the school…from other schools.
“A lot of kids in schools, they don’t have disposable income to donate to a certain cause, but this was a way to jump on and help out those students in Chardon. But it’s cool to see that happen,” he said.
Chardon won with 70 percent of the 112,000 votes for the contest.
Matthews said the station was overwhelmed with Facebook pages, YouTube videos and even celebrity Tweets.
“Somebody posted it on Kid Rock’s website,” he said. “We had Cleveland Indians posting things for vote for Chardon for this Rock Your Prom contest. It really exploded. I mean, We could have never imagined it would have gotten this big.”
Now, co-sponsor Rock the House Entertainment is working with the students to make the prom of their dreams happen on May 5.
“They’re going to see a lot of the same elements you’d expect to see at a concert,” said Matt Radicelli, founder and owner of Rock the House. “They’re going to see a stage, they’re going to see lots of lights, lots of video screens, a massive sound system, fantastic performers.”
KISS-FM Club DJ’s, DJ E-V and DJ Pana will host the event, but Radicelli said more vendors have stepped forward after announcing Chardon as the winner.
“Now we got 10 different vendors that want to participate, that have the ability to take this from a $5,000 prom to a $15,000 prom,” he said.
As for the location and other details of the prom, Radicelli is pretty tight-lipped. He’s just happy to be able to help to give students an exciting end to the school year.
“The timing itself really is unfortunate, but I can’t think of a better school to receive a prize like this at a time like this,” Radicelli said.