Emily Vanek and Alexandra Orbuch
At this year’s Winter Formal, all students who attended felt as though they had received the coveted “golden ticket” to enter the colorful and jubilant world of Willy Wonka. The formal was in full force at deToledo High School. For three years now, Milken and deToledo have planned the Winter Formal together and switched off hosting duties. This year’s theme was inspired by the magical story of Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, the story of a sweet, but poor boy whose wildest dreams come true when he is given the chance to visit the jolly chocolate factory of Willy Wonka, which is full of surprises.
As students walked across the lawn and into the building on the night of formal, they were greeted by Mr. Beau Lindsey dressed up as Willy Wonka as well as a multitude of Willy Wonka themed decorations. Students in each grade made use of these festive additions to the event, which included pictures from the Willy Wonka film plastered on the walls. According to Noa Figenblat ‘20, “It was an amazing venue with great amenities.” In addition, there was a pathway of giant lollipops leading the students to a dance floor and an array of more activities, including a large photo booth for students to make memories and even Dance Dance Revolution. Many enjoyed the available games, including air hockey, giant Jenga, and giant Connect Four.
In true Willy Wonka spirit, chocolate was one of the main aspects of the event. All of those in attendance enjoyed the chocolate bars in Willy Wonka wrappers as well as the chocolate fountain, accompanied by fruit and marshmallows. For dinner, there were taco stands with soy meat and fish, as well as side dishes, including guacamole, hot sauce, mangos, and more. Alyssa Ramirez ‘20 added, “The food carts were cool and I really liked the hot pretzels.” Dancing was also a main activity at the event, and many students could be seen joining hands excitedly as they jammed out to their favorite tunes, particularly a remix of the famous Hannukah song, “Sevivon Sov Sov Sov.”
Many were also excited to spend time with their peers, both at Milken and deToledo, in a formal, inclusive setting. In the words of Raquel Rodef ‘21, “It was nice to hang out with people from other grades as well as my own. I also enjoyed spending time with everyone at the event, especially people from deToledo. I even made new friends!”
This entire magical event would not have been made possible without Ms. Lauren Miller, Director of Experiential Learning and the student governments of both deToledo and Milken. According to Miller, “I was really pleased with the formal, specifically the turnout. We had 301 Milken tickets sold; a large percentage of the student body.” Clara Pitt added, “I think what stands out most to me about the evening was the enthusiasm of the Milken students. We had 300 students attend the dance which was way more than was expected. There were around 50 freshmen, 55 sophomores, 93 juniors, and 99 seniors at the dance.”