Students can gamble in complimentary “Friends” T-shirts at the homecoming dance on Saturday, Sept. 28, in the gym. The event, which has a casino and “Friends” theme, is scheduled for 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Tickets cost $20 and can be bought online or through Valerie Velo, assistant to the head of high school. 

Parents Sandy Buchanan and Sandee Chand are sponsoring the dance.

Buchanan encourages students to bring a friend, whose ticket is free.

“The idea is that the dance is not a big date night, but a cool place to be with friends. We want students to bring non-SCDS friends to really go with the ‘Friends’ theme,” she said.

According to Buchanan, the event will be less like a formal dance and more like a place to “hang out.”

“The gym will be split in half by the divider curtain,” Buchanan said. “One half will be the casino area, and the other will be the dance area and a kind of loungy hangout spot with food.”

Buchanan added that she and Chand are sponsoring the dance because they want to get students more interested in high school events.

Buchanan said she hired a company to provide the decorations and furniture for the dance, including blackjack, craps and poker tables for the casino, as well as a doughnut and snack bar.

There will be drinks as well, but dinner will not be provided.

Students will be given fake “Cavalier bucks” to spend at the casino. Attendees with the most bucks at the end of the night will win $200 for first place, $100 for second place and $50 for third place, according to Buchanan.

Buchanan and Chand bought “Friends” shirts for every high schooler, which students can wear to the dance. Students may also dress up for the accompanying casino theme.

In addition to the casino, there will be a “Friends”-themed photo booth and “homecoming mums” on display.

Homecoming mums are ornate pins popularized in Texas. Buchanan plans to distribute mum-making kits before the pep rally on Sept. 27 so the decorations can be entered into a contest for an award of $50 per grade.

The two mothers came up with the idea for the “Friends” and casino themed homecoming over the summer and proposed it to head of high school Brooke Wells, Velo and the Student Council.

“They said, ‘That sounds great. Let’s do it!’” Buchanan said.

 “(Chand) and I are hoping to be enablers, to just set and plan things,” Buchanan added. “However, the Student Council can get the word out and help decorate.” 

The Student Council, Chand and Buchanan have been in close contact, according to Velo. 

“(Student Council) is in charge of the music, (publicity) and setting up and breaking down,” Velo said. “Buchanan and Chand (planned to) attend the Student Council meeting (on Monday) to further plan (the dance).” 

According to Buchanan, the dance and “Friends” shirts cost about $3,500, and all money collected from ticket sales will be used for future high school dances.

—By Arijit Trivedi

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