Banquets and Goodbyes

Cadence Troxel , Guest Writer

Whether it’s the end of the season, semester, or year, all good things must come to an end. Every year, students commemorate their achievements in their electives of choice with an annual banquet, each one varying in multiple aspects. And although most people attend a banquet of some kind, most don’t attend more than one or two. Even then, it’s difficult to take in all the hard work and planning that goes into a banquet just by attending for one night, so join us for a sneak peek into the backbone of a couple of this year’s celebrations.


Each banquet does have differences and similarities with the other banquets depending on who takes the lead in planning. Usually, a banquet is planned by the lead booster club members, student officers, or teachers of a subject. Most commonly a combination of the three work together to plan and execute all the finer details for the banquet, but occasionally one specific group or person is put in charge.

“This is the first (banquet) I’ve helped plan in my role as Orchestra Booster President,” said Daniela Kerpens. “When I was appointed to this role, most of the initial steps in the planning process had already been done.”

Most banquets are planned at least 2 months ahead of time, some classes going so far as to begin planning the banquet from the beginning of the year. This is to help establish possible venues, themes, times, food choices, and fundraisers if applicable. However, many banquets add variety by choosing not to do a theme, or holding the celebration at different venues (although italian seems to be the general consensus this year).

“We worked on the banquet for about 2 months,” said Megan Graves, coach of the Swim and Dive team.

Deb Giudice, a booster club member for baseball, agreed. “Specifics on the banquet such as food, decorations, program, gifts, speakers we begin planning 2 months in advance of the event.”

In line with planning finer details, money comes into play. While some extracurricular activities ask that you pay for a specific banquet ticket, such as theater and choir, others just include the price into the beginning of the year fees, such as orchestra and swim and dive. Similarly, different extracurriculars charge different prices depending on how many people attend, what/where the venue is, if there are specific decorations, and what is being provided in terms of food and experience. For example, choir had a banquet ticket of only $25, but they had food delivered to a banquet held at LT, instead of an off-campus venue. However, band has a ticket price of $75, but is holding their event at a space designed to hold banquets and celebrations off of school property.

“Our Orchestra students’ tickets are covered through their orchestra fees which each student pays at the beginning of the school year,” said Mrs. Kerpens. “However, if the student wants to bring additional guests, which are limited to immediate family members, those additional guests pay $50 per ticket.” She later continued, stating “We expect about 200 guests for the banquet.”

Band has a similar situation. “(We are expecting) upwards to 300-plus people,” said senior Izabelle Nasits, student president of band. “Our band program has about 250 people in it, and we’re expecting most of the people in band to be there, as well as the directors, and parents are invited as well.”

Although planning these celebrations is always a huge undertaking with time commitments and added stress, the planners enjoy celebrating during the banquet just as much, if not more, than the students.

“We will celebrate our Seniors graduating (11 of them this year),” said Mrs. Giudice, “as well as an undefeated District season.  The team won District Champs and are in the playoffs.  When they keep winning, we will have more to celebrate.”

“We celebrated breaking several records on the record board,” said Coach Graves, “the girls relays making it to region for the first time, and the boys team making it to state again.”

“In addition to celebrating all our orchestra students and their hard work this year, we highlight and celebrate our wonderful Seniors and the accomplishments of students who have represented our school in various competitions,” said Mrs. Kerpens. “We celebrate them and recognize them at the banquet. We also present the newly elected Orchestra Officers for the next school year.”

“The banquet is a big dedication to the seniors, but it also a time to recognize people for their hard work throughout the year,” said Nasits. “A big portion of the ceremony is our directors presenting awards to different students of all grades.”

During this final week of school, the last couple banquets will be wrapping up and marking the end of their seasons. We hope you much to celebrate this year trail blazers, and we hope that you’ll have even more next year! Keep an eye out and see if there are ways you might be able to help with some of the pre-banquet chaos. Goodbye to the graduating seniors, make these last banquets your best! Have a great summer LT!