RACHAEL RAY MAKES SURE THE PROM GOES ON
FOR ENTERPRISE, ALABAMA STUDENTS
AFTER TORNADO DESTROYS SCHOOL
The Daytime TV Host Along With Actress and Musician Mandy Moore Help Create a Night to Remember for Enterprise High School Seniors
NEW YORK, NY, APRIl 30, 2007 - Syndicated daytime host Rachael Ray teamed up with school and government officials in Enterprise, Alabama to create a memorable prom for Enterprise High School students who last month suffered the loss of several classmates and the destruction of their school when a powerful tornado struck on March 1st, 2007. The efforts resulted in a poignant day filled with student-focused events and culminated with the prom later that evening. An entire show dedicated to the strength and courage of the residents of Enterprise, AL will air on "Rachael Ray" (check local listings) Monday April 30th with a second follow-up show on Tuesday May 8th. The entire show was shot on location over the course of two weeks.
Upon arriving in Alabama, Ray toured the site of Enterprise High School with Assistant Superintendent Dr. Bob Phares. "The students of Enterprise High are so courageous, given all that they've gone through," stated Ray. "When I heard about what happened to their school and classmates, we wanted to help. I can't imagine how hard it must be for them and their families. The prom was all about celebrating their accomplishments and honoring the classmates who tragically lost their lives," concluded Ray.
The Enterprise High School Senior Prom took place on Thursday April 5th at Aviator's Landing on Fort Rucker, where it is held each year. Ray personally created and helped to cook up a special prom night menu. The evening ended with a surprise musical performance by the muti-talented Mandy Moore who sang songs from her new CD, Wild Hope.
"Anytime you can go to help be a part of repairing people's well being, it is the most personally gratifying thing you can do," said Moore. "These kids were so resilient that night after going through more than anyone can imagine in that disaster. The evening of their prom, there were no signs of distress. It was a close gathering of community that knew they had to pull together and finally give themselves some relief. To be able to be there and hopefully be just a little bit of the celebration was beyond exciting."
Prom day began with a noon assembly where Ray greeted students and their parents gathered at the Enterprise Civic Center in a formal kick-off to the prom. Ray was later joined by Alabama Governor Bob Riley and Enterprise Mayor Kenneth Boswell at a pre-prom dinner organized by Ray's team.
Ray enlisted the help of her on-air "content buddies" to coordinate many of the elements leading up to the April 5th prom. Gretta Monahan, the show's fashion and style guru, and Colby Donaldson, a regular lifestyle buddy on the show, helped students choose their prom outfits. Kristan Cunningham, the show's design expert, created decorations and centerpieces for the prom and dinner.
Filled with pride for his students and faculty, Enterprise High School Principal Rick Rainer stated, "The prom is a reflection of the memories and great educational experiences these students have come to know at Enterprise High School. We didn't want this night to be any different. During this difficult time, our students and faculty have shown tremendous strength and courage," he concluded. Dr. Phares added, "I'm filled with an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for everything Rachael and her show have done."
After the prom concluded Rachael summarized her visit to Enterprise and commented on the strength of the residents. "I truly believe this happened here because this community was ready to show the world ‘this is how you do this.' ‘This is how you take the unbearable and you make it unbreakable,'" said Ray. "It's one of the greatest things I have seen in my life."
The Rachael Ray team also coordinated generous contributions that made this event possible from major companies, including Delta Airlines, JCPenney, Sara Lee, Outback Steakhouse, 1-800-Flowers, Michaels Arts & Crafts Store, Home Depot, Meyer, Furi, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Presto Frames, RSC Equipment Rental, Concrete Design and fashion brand Torrid.
RACHAEL RAY is produced by CBS Television Distribution in association with Harpo Productions, Scripps Networks and Watch Entertainment, and distributed by CBS Television Distribution. Janet Annino is executive producer. CBS Television Distribution is a unit of CBS Corp.