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Unsung Hero: Alan Bryan helps Pinckneyville teens have a prom

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PINCKNEYVILLE (WSIL) -- One man received praise for his efforts to bring back Prom to Pinckneyville High School. His efforts rallied the community and made Friday, April 30, a night to remember.

Pinckneyville resident Alan Bryan said he was Prom dressing shopping with his girlfriends' daughter when he learned that juniors and seniors would not have a Prom this year. After confirming the news with school officials, Alan said he felt he needed to do something. He said he got out his credit card, went five blocks down the road to the Columbian Club, and asked about putting a date in the books.

Word traveled fast about what Alan was trying to do, and he immediately received messages on Facebook. One of those messages came from Pinckneyville Business Owner Roger Brand with Name Brand Creations. Roger offered to use his decorating company to fix up the hall for free.

"I don't know much about Alan, but just his heart spoke to mine, that he was willing to go above and beyond for these students," said Brand.

Roger was not the only one to offer free services, Judy Brand Photography took pictures, and there was also a D.J, t-shirts, and dozens of gift cards and prizes for the students, all donated.

"Alan got the ball rolling. Everybody reached out to Alan. Alan may have not had any friends before, but he sure does now," added Brand.

The Prom was a huge success, with well over 200 students participating.

"I told them, I said, this is for you. Your community cares about you. All of these things, everything's free, everything is donated, everything. The community cares about you, and we love you, have a good time. Let's dance." said Alan.

Alan said many businesses in and out of town and individuals gave time, money, or donations to make it a memorable night for the students.

Alan said he had hoped to give them a simple barn dance, footloose style, for all they have been through over the pandemic but, what he gave them was so much more. Many students have reached out and sent cards to say thank you to Alan.

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Evie Allen

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