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Dinner is on Dora
Beale Street Deli to treat 60 KHS prom goers to dinner

AHRON SHERMAN/Miner<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->Dora Manley stands among the tables – decorations included – KHS prom goers will dine at Saturday.

AHRON SHERMAN/Miner<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->Dora Manley stands among the tables – decorations included – KHS prom goers will dine at Saturday.

KINGMAN - When Adriana Perez started her senior year at Kingman High in the fall, she had no plans to attend the school's prom at the end of the year.

It was KHS Student Services Coordinator Girlie Forman who convinced her to change her mind - and make plans. The prom is Saturday.

Forman, along with Kingman High's Hispanic Student Union and the Venture Club, organized the annual Prom Fair.

The Prom Fair uses donations of prom-related materials from the community to help Families in Transition students and financially disadvantaged juniors and seniors take part in the prom experience.

Perez - and about 100 other students - has her

complete prom night provided for. Perez helped set up the Prom Fair and assisted other students in finding and choosing attire for the event.

Though the list of donors is long, some went above and beyond what even the most giving would expect.

During spring break, Forman went around to local restaurants asking if the owners would be willing to donate two to four dinners apiece on prom night. One restaurant owner she asked was Dora Manley, owner of Dora's Beale Street Deli.

Manley directed Forman to one room and told her, "I can do 30 here, and I can do 30 out front," Forman said. That's 60 free meals, Forman said.

"I got in my car and started crying," Forman said. "I was completely overwhelmed with her generosity."

Manley and her husband, Kurt, both graduated from KHS. Dora said they both came from families that couldn't necessarily afford a prom experience for their kids.

"Life has been good to us," Dora said, adding that giving back to the community is something she enjoys doing.

When Dora's bread man heard of her plan to feed 60 high school students before prom, he decided to donate all the bread for the meal. Her employees all volunteered to work the dinner for free, and several of Dora's friends - also KHS graduates - offered to help out with dishes and service as well.

The first seating is at 6:30 p.m. and the second seating is at 7. The lucky prom goers will have a choice between three entrées: New York steak, chicken fettuccini Alfredo and lemon pepper tilapia. Appetizers will be served, and the students will have a choice between soup and salad. Cheesecake is for dessert, Dora added.

"I really hope to make this an annual event," Dora said, adding that the way the community comes together for things like this is astounding.

Other restaurants around Kingman chipped in as well, Forman said. Krystal Burge is donating 25 meals at the Dambar & Steakhouse, Lombardo's will be providing 10 dinners and Calico's plans to provide four meals for prom night. A local doctor and his wife will also be preparing a gourmet meal for six prom goers as well.

Donations came from everywhere, Forman said. Students received free attire, free prom tickets and - on the night of the prom - free meals. Every single student who attended Prom Fair and even those who could not make it that day have had each aspect of their prom experience provided for by the community, Forman said.

"I think the Prom Fair is a good idea because it benefits a lot of people," Perez said.

Jennifer Jackson, a teacher at Kingman High who is also the "S" Club's advisor, helped with the Prom Fair and the prom itself, as she and members of the KHS student council are in charge of setting up the actual dance.

"This brings tears to my eyes every single year," Jackson said, speaking of the girls in their dresses and the guys with their flowers.

Fundraising was tremendously successful this year, Jackson said. So much work goes into the dance. The more students who get to experience the dance and everything that goes with it the better. Maybe one day every single kid who wants to go will be able to do so, Jackson said.

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