One Year After Tornado Joplin High School Students Attend Prom

Sunday, May 20th 2012, 10:05 pm
By: News 9

A local high school was also in the path of destruction of the deadly Joplin tornado. Hundreds of high school students who survived the storm recently enjoyed a prom to remember.

In the days after an EF-5 tornado ripped through Joplin residents got used to seeing cameras around, documenting the destruction. But on prom night the cameras were flashing for a different reason

"It is pretty exciting. I feel like a celebrity," student Flannery Gafken said.

And a battered community, including the injured and trapped, enjoyed a much better view.

"It's a lot of fun. All the different dresses and tuxes, the kids have smiles on their faces," parent Arhonda Delzeel said.

Still, there were faces missing from the crowd. Caley Lantz Hare would have been a junior this year, walking in with his classmates; but he was killed while driving through the storm.

"He was the nicest person. He would do anything for you," Caley's brother, Matthew Hare, said.

Matthew carries his brother's memory inside, along with a striking resemblance that he says keeps Caley present.

"It helps. It makes it less hard. I guess, because I'm just reminded that he was a good person," Matthew said.

And the night was about remembering the good while celebrating the future.

"It is just a victory call, that this is our city. We are rebuilding. No tornado can take us down," student Morgan Burnside said.

See the timeline of the devastating Joplin tornado.