“Fairy godmothers” make prom dreams come true for Colton High seniors

Courtesy photo:    Colton Pride mothers or Fairy Godmothers, pictured from left, Lisa Villa, Vanessa Lambert, Anna Bustillos, Amber Suchil, Yellowjacket mascot, Veronica Gaitan, Betty Moreno, Laura Rodriguez, Betsy Diaz, were determined to throw a prom for seniors.

The 2020-2021 school year has been full of all kinds of adjustments and surprises for students nationwide. For the graduating Colton High 2021 senior class, it was no surprise to be told there would be no school sponsored prom this year.

A group of students who had been friends since kindergarten were sad to realize there would be no senior events, which meant no senior class memories for them. But that group of students didn’t realize that their mothers were hard at work to change that harsh reality into a dream that even Cinderella and Prince Charming would be jealous of.

The eight fairy godmothers (also known as Lisa Villa, Vanessa Lambert, Anna Bustillos, Amber Suchil, Veronica Gaitan, Betty Moreno, Laura Rodriguez, and Betsy Diaz) were determined to throw a prom for their seniors and to make it fabulous. They began to hold different fundraisers to meet their goal and rented the Yucaipa Valley Golf Course for the soiree. They had a car wash, and a car show and several other fundraisers to make the prom a night to remember. When Terri Ramos, wife of Assemblyman James Ramos and member of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, heard about the effort, she graciously paid the balance due for the Yucaipa venue.

As the event drew near, the theme “Tonight’s Dreams…Tomorrow’s Memories” truly became the ‘Magical Masquerade’ as hoped. With a wave of their magic wands and all that hard work fundraising, the eight moms didn’t charge seniors one cent for entry to the prom. Then, all 150 seniors were picked up at Fleming Park by a party bus (so the students could go in style and comfort). The bus made several pickups through the night, and then returned all the students back to the park when the prom was over (also at no charge).

At the prom, seniors were treated to an extravagant dinner while a horse and carriage waited outside for those who wanted to take a ride around the grounds. A photo booth provided plenty of opportunities to preserve their memories of the incredible night and a DJ made sure they stayed on the dance floor to have fun the whole night through. And like everything else, there were no costs to the seniors for anything.

“We’ve been deeply humbled by the expressions of gratitude from the seniors for this event,” said Lisa Villa, “It was a lot of work, but it was worth it to see these seniors have a memory they’ll never forget.”

The mothers are all part of an organization founded by Villa called Colton Pride. “The club was formed to unite our community,” shared Villa, “to be a universal club, to show that people from all walks of life, that we’re all tied together. Colton Pride was established to shine a light on Colton in a positive way. We’re all part of one team, one family, one city.”

And although Colton Pride members reach out to help school needs when they can, the group is not affiliated with the school district in any way. “We help out whenever we can,” Villa said, “and we have an open door on our membership. Anyone who wants to help, can. We are all from Colton, and anyone is welcome to be a part of Colton Pride.”

The group participates in many city functions such as the Christmas parade, the Veterans Day parade, events at Fleming Park and is always ready to consider helping when needed.

If you would like more information about Colton Pride, please contact Lisa Villa by email at lisavilla853@gmail.com.