Winter Ball returns after pandemic cancellations


Courtesy of 2020 Yearbook

ARHS students from the 2019-2020 school year dance at the Winter Ball on Dec. 20, 2019.

Ellie O’Connor, News Editor

For the first time since 2019, the Student Council will hold a Winter Ball dance on December 16 at the DCU Center in Worcester.

The Winter Ball was put on a hiatus for the past two years due to previous COVID restrictions, with the last one being held in 2019. Traditionally, the semi-formal event is hosted every December for all grades to attend with friends and guests from other schools. This year, the doors open at 6:30 pm, and students are expected to stay for the entire duration of the dance until 10:00 pm. Tickets cost $50 and can be purchased online until Friday, December 2.

Student Council President senior Ben Schanzer, along with the rest of the Student Council, began planning the event last June, and encountered challenges due to the previous years’ cancellations of the Winter Ball.

“We haven’t had a Winter Ball since my freshman year, and I think one major effect of that is that people don’t really know what to expect,” Schanzer said. “But it’s really unique in the sense that you don’t bring a date, so it’s like a big group event about building the school community, which the Council is always striving to do.”

According to junior Lizzie Connolly, chairperson of the Student Council Event Committee, the Winter Ball is intended to encourage school spirit and celebrate the halfway point of the year. She looks forward to seeing the Student Council’s efforts come into reality.

“I’m excited to see the school come together because that hasn’t happened a lot in the past couple of years,” Connolly said. “I feel like it will help unite the school.”

Although there is no sit-down dinner, students can expect buffet tables with chicken nuggets, caesar salad and beverages, among other options. A DJ and photobooth will be available for entertainment during the three-hour-long event.

“[The dance] will be really fun,” Connolly said. “People can dance with their friends, eat really good food and just have a good time.”

To raise money for the Winter Ball, the Student Council hosted fundraisers throughout the year, such as the carnival in May and a movie night in September. Schanzer reached out to local banks and businesses for donations, including Main Street Bank and St. Mary’s Credit Union. Ticket sales were moved online to save costs from paper as well.

“Fortunately, with the support of those sponsors and some efforts the Student Council did earlier in the year to raise some money, we’re in a really good place financially,” Schanzer said. “We feel really good about the event being very successful, and still being able to still put on great events [in the future].”

In the past, tickets for the Winter Ball cost $30, but were raised to $50 this year. According to Schanzer, the rise in the cost is due to inflation from COVID. For example, food catering prices have skyrocketed compared to previous years, resulting in a higher ticket price to compensate.

“The rising costs of everything is a direct result of COVID, and we’re working with that,” Schanzer said. “Hopefully, fingers crossed, we won’t have to make many COVID concessions this year.”

Now that most of the preparations are completed, the Student Council has shifted their efforts towards marketing and encouraging students to purchase tickets.

“A lot of the [preparations] are already done,” Connolly said. “Now we’re more focused on last minute decorations, and just selling tickets to make sure the whole school ends up going.” 

The Student Council emphasizes the need for a whole-school participation in order to make for a memorable night. 

“We really want to see everyone there, and if people have questions about anything, then they can reach out to the Student Council,” Schanzer said. “Our first priority is to make sure it’s a big school event that everyone is welcomed to.”