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Overbooked Venue Leads to Prom Blues

Bordentown Regional High School students and parents in an uproar after learning the school’s June 6 prom is already sold out because it was booked in a venue that can’t accommodate everyone may be able to attend after all.

A man points to a shark while standing inside an underwater tunnel shark exhibit at Adventure Aquarium in Camden
A man points to a shark while standing inside an underwater tunnel shark exhibit at Adventure Aquarium in Camden (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Corrinne Kluge of the Adventure Aquarium’s PR firm, Vault Communications, says that they spoke with school representatives on Tuesday morning and have opened up an additional 60 seats for the prom in the Currents Ballroom.

Kluge says the prom committee was aware of the seating limitation when they signed a contract but did not take into account chaperones and dates that do not attend the school. Only 12 people were on the waiting list according to Kluge.

Joseph Miller, interim superintendent of the Bordentown Regional School District, would not confirm the added capacity, but said a faculty member was visiting the Camden venue Tuesday to “see what can be done.” The venue cannot be changed and there are concerns about complying with the fire code according to Miller. A meeting is scheduled for Wednesday morning

While the Aquarium along the Delaware River offers the opportunity to  dine and dance surrounded by fish, along with a view of the Philadelphia skyline, the facility can only accommodate 350 for a sit-down dinner and 500 for a buffet dinner according to the Aquarium’s website.

Only 299 prom tickets were made available for sale to a combined junior and senior class numbering 300, according to the Times of Trenton with approximately leaving many students without a ticket. In contrast, last year’s prom was held at the Aloft Hotel in Mount Laurel with a capacity of 500.

The tickets for this year’s prom went on sale April 28 and had sold out by Monday, much to the surprise of senior David Gappa, who had finally raised $200 to buy tickets for himself and his date. “I was so upset, I couldn’t speak,” Gappa told the newspaper. “They just told me that I should’ve come earlier.”

Miller told NBC Philadelphia, Perhaps it was an unwise decision to choose a place that did not have enough capacity for our student body and their dates” and said he will ask the Aquarium about adding more capacity for the event.

David Gappa’s mother told the Times of Trenton that Miller told her that this experience is “a life lesson for the kids that they can’t always get what they want.”

The prom is scheduled for Friday, June 6.

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Dino Flammia contributed to this report

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