Russos on the Bay decided last week to foot the bill for a second senior prom for West Hempstead High School students after the catering hall had to cancel the students first prom when a power outage June 26 left most of Howard Beach in the dark.
Manager Jeremy McMilleon said a group of parents decided to hold a second prom, dubbed Prom II, after Russos had to stop the original prom two weeks ago because it had no power to cook food or operate music equipment.
The catering hall refunded the Long Island schools deposits for the prom to the school district and then made arrangements with the parent group for the free prom at 162-45 Cross Bay Blvd. that will be open to students who paid and signed up to attend the first one.
We hope we can make it up to them, said McMilleon, who has tried unsuccessfully for days to have a ConEd employee come to Russos and explain why the power outage occurred. My boss decided that he was going to donate (Russos) and not charge the kids for the prom.
He said the next prom will take place July 16 at 7 p.m.
The power outage that affected 6,400 customers initially at 5:40 p.m. was the result of an infrastructure problem that overloaded feeders, a mechanism that is similar to a home circuit breaker, ConEd spokesman Chris Olert said.
He said the feeders probably overheated and when this happens to more than three individual units, a power outage results. Olert said the outage could also have been related to high temperatures caused by weather.
Hundreds of West Hempstead High School students were left eating hors doeuvres and dancing in front of battery-powered boom boxes because of the power failure, a spokeswoman for Russos said days after the outage. She said the catering hall, known for extravagant weddings, parties and other social occasions, tried several different measures to keep the students happy.
McMilleon said his catering hall has a back-up generator that can only be used for emergency purposes, such as in natural disasters.
The manager said he has unsuccessfully written several letters and called ConEd several times to get the utility provider to come out to the Howard Beach facility.
He said Russos decided to offer a free prom to the students because students have other costs that on top of buying a new ticket could have prevented them from attending the second occasion.
We know that they have to spend their money on other things, like doing their hair and getting their nails done, McMilleon said. We hope this helps them out.
Russos will also be providing free transportation for the students to and from their high school. McMilleon said a disc jockey will also be at the prom for the students at no cost to them.
Reach reporter Alex Davidson by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.
©2003 Community News Group
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