Tolo glows with success

Kyle Smith, Editor in Chief

In the past two years, the Tolo dance has been canceled each year. In the past, the leadership teacher has canceled it due to low ticket sales.

This was not the case this year as Tolo was held Friday, Feb. 19. Over 500 tickets were sold.

Leadership and AP Junior English teacher Jamie Mooring describes what made the Tolo dance unique from other school dances.

“Tolo is the dance that we do in spring and it is different because girls are supposed to ask guys to go but it does not have to be a date dance, that is just the tradition behind it. So just like at Homecoming some people choose to go without dates, they just go with a group of friends. Tolo is the same way, you do not have to have a date to come,” Mooring said.

Senior Riley Voss explains the thought process behind this year’s Tolo theme—Glolo.

“We tried to first pick a theme that we thought people would actually be into, opposed to just a dress up day or something like that, [which] Leadership has done in the past,” Voss said. “We have just tried to do something more broad and modern like a Glolo or black light dance because we have seen other schools do that and it has been successful. We just wanted to make it seem like it was going to be a fun party rather than an intimidating dance that [students] could be scared to go to.”

Unlike in previous years, Tolo was a fundraiser for the senior class, according to Mooring. The money will go towards funding events like Prom.

“Any profit that is made will go to the senior class so the senior class officers run [Tolo]. We used to do it that, it was a junior class fundraiser but what I learned over the course of years trying to run it, was that seniors would not go because it was a junior class fundraiser,” Mooring said. “The only kids that would go were the sophomores because they did not know that nobody really went and some of the juniors. We switched it to be a senior class fundraiser. The seniors needed it anyways to offset Prom costs. It costs about $20,000 to run your senior year [with] all of the expenses that are incurred. So [seniors] need all of the help they can get.”

Voss helped to plan and purchase materials for Tolo. She describes what that process is like.

“Events like this are kind of hard because there is a lot of pre-planning that you can do and then it is just waiting and waiting until the event. Once we got all of the pre-planning done, we have just been trying to focus on get the word out there and getting people to go because our teacher will wait until the last minute to cancel it,” Voss said. “We want to sell as many tickets as possible, so we are just trying to do everything right now just so it does not get canceled. Because of the high risk we could not spend that much on decorations, we did not want to spend a ton of money on stuff just in case it did get canceled. We are advertising and trying to encourage people to ask and go in general.”

In the past, Tolo has had troubles with cancellations due to a lack of sales. This year, those in charge of the dance made some changes in the hopes of increasing attendance as Mooring describes.

“I think it stems from the fact that it was a junior class fundraiser and so we switched that and made it a senior class fundraiser but we could just not get the girls to ask,” Mooring said. “It is this funny paradox of the girls all want to be asked to Homecoming but nobody wants to do the asking for Tolo. To make it worth the time and energy and cost I have required that there has to be 200 tickets sold and if there is not then we cancel it.”

ASB class president Kenton Robillard explains why he thinks that there has been issues with attendance in the past and how this year’s theme might have affected that.

“I do not think kids wanted to be the example, so we tried to get our kids to really show that example by getting on social media to let people know that we are doing it,” Robillard said. “I also think the whole, Glolo theme…is going to be a neat theme, because it ties into the color run that they do and…it is like those parties where it is dark and they have the glowing lights everywhere that you see on social media and on the news. So we are trying to tie that in and maybe get a little bit of a new feel to it and get people interested in coming. So hopefully that will get more people [to come].”

Mooring explains why there was a minimum number of tickets that need to be sold in order for Tolo to go through.

“We do a joint fundraiser, so that the senior class has the opportunity to make some money but we can still have the DJ that I think is most appropriate for our school dances. So it is a joint fundraiser in that our account ASB Dances, which we have an account for, pay for the DJ and then the senior class pays for any other decorations that they want,” Mooring said. “So because it is a joint fundraiser, I think it costs about $100 out of senior class to make it go. Overall it cost very minimal, considering now it will be $100 lost if we have to cancel it because they are not going to make that money back in ticket sales. With 200 hundred tickets being required sold to have the dance go, you guys make a pretty large profit margin.”

Robillard explains his role in promoting Tolo and making sure that attendance is high enough for the dance to be successful.

“It is all of our jobs to be examples, to really show that [Tolo] is going to be a fun thing for people to do and [it is our jobs] to talk to people and get the word out,” Robillard said. “I do not think kids are not going to go because they do not want to, necessarily, I think kids are not going to go because they think not a lot of people are going to be there. I think it might help to make [Tolo] the cool thing to do, so we are trying to make it so that the cool thing to do. I think that is really our job in the whole process.”

Even though Tolo was a senior class fundraiser it was open to all classes to participate in, as Robillard describes

“What makes it unique is, [Tolo] is casual. Just like that, everyone can participate [unlike where] underclassmen cannot participate in Prom unless a senior asks them. So that makes it unique. Also, just the fact that the girls are asking the guys and it kind of flips the tables a bit on the social norm of guys asking girls. It really flips that around. So it is very fun to see the girls get a chance to ask the guys and see what it is like for a guy to ask a girl,” Robillard said. “So I think that is also unique but with that comes some intimidation to ask somebody. Whereas, we are trying to get out there to show people that it can be done and it is a fun thing to go to. Hopefully this year we are going to flip the tables and start a new trend at PHS.”

Senior Gabby Gallucci describes how successful Tolo was this year in comparison to previous years.

“Tolo turned out to be very successful. The last three years no more than 125 students bought tickets but this year we sold roughly a little over 500 which will really help the senior class fund. Since the senior class had never been to a Tolo before everyone wanted to go and experience it before we all left,” Gallucci said. “Since all the seniors were talking about it and wanting to go, this then lead to the juniors and sophomores wanting to be a part of it too. My favorite thing about Tolo this year was just seeing all the energy and fun everyone was having at the actual dance. It’s pretty cool to see something you and a couple others planned turn out to be a success.”