To SNAP, or not to SNAP

Senior Night After Prom (SNAP) event holds on to its last hope as the SNAP committee fights to keep it from its first cancellation since its conception more than 20 years ago.

The SNAP committee, replaced every year with the current year’s senior parents, consists of about 13 parent volunteers when they need a minimum of 40 to run fundraisers and chaperone on the night of SNAP. Of the 13 parents, all said they have full-time jobs. One of the biggest problems SNAP President Kim Zapalac said she faces is lack of communication between administration, students and parents.

“We tried unsuccessfully to get the administration involved,” Zapalac said. “Mr. Alcorn has helped me as much as he can.”

The event will cost $30,000, which would include a venue, transportation for students from prom to the venue, and other hired services like a casino table, hypnotism, sumo-wrestling and many other activities.

Traditionally, the previous year’s committee would leave $5,000 to give the next year’s SNAP a foundation. Last year’s SNAP left $150. As of the meeting held Jan. 22,  about nine of the fundraisers collectively raised $3,000.

“Some of us have donated money, I know I’ve donated like $500 to $600 for food and different things in the event,” Zapalac said. “I think [the previous year] had less money because they had very few volunteers last year. They didn’t make a lot of money in their fundraiser plus their SNAP tickets and venue [at the Main Event] were very expensive.”

According to Zapalac, a return SNAP committee member, said the Yankee Candle fundraiser held in 2010 raised $18,000, with about 120 seniors selling that year.  For the same fundraiser this year, seven seniors sold items, raising a few hundred dollars.

“[In 2010] we had a huge turnout of orders and Roadhouse Rolls [fundraiser], we sold $8,000 in rolls, [this year] I think I wrote them a check for $115 dollars,” she said. “No ones promoting.”

Principal Sandy Trujillo agrees lack of communication causes a problem, but suggests the SNAP committee try to find other means of communication since the school can not legally get involved in outside fundraisers.

“I believe there are a couple of things, the teachers are not getting the information until way late and the fundraisers are not getting on the fundraiser calendar sometimes,” she said. “The reason is we have 85 clubs and organizations on campus, all of the clubs and organizations have to raise money, that doesn’t count our boosters. I’m new in this district so it’s hard for me to know the majority of SNAP historically.”

Zapalac, who works a full-time job in the fundraising business, said she devotes about 40 hours a week on SNAP.

“I email, I call, I make packets, I run seven or eight fundraisers, I’ve done the most that I think I could have possibly done,” she said.

Zapalac believes teachers not passing out the fundraisers contributes as a reason to SNAP’S situation. Zapalac said she found fundraiser packets in the trashcans of the teacher lounges.

“Bridgette and six of her friends spent a whole week fixing those packets every day after school,” she said. “They were stapling them and getting them prepared and the company paid all that money to be shipped and had the printing done for those packets and the kids never saw them again, they just threw them away.”

Bridgette Zapalac said although SNAP needs parent volunteers, students can come to the meetings.

“The kids are going to actually be involved in the activities and they need more than 13 adults hosting it,” she said.

Senior class sponsor Gregory Nelson said his involvement only concerns prom and has no duties in SNAP.

“I think it’s a great thing,” he said. “It’s fun. I have been to all of them, kids have a good time. If you are not planning on going to another location like Galveston or Lake Conroe, then SNAP is a very worthwhile event, I fully believe in it.”

Kim Zapalac believes students do not want to go to IT’z because of its reputation.

“It’s about being with all of your friends,” she said. “It’s not about the place it’s going to be at because after graduation, everyone’s going to go with their own families out to dinner and stuff so really this is the last time right after prom that everybody is going to get together.”

She also said social communication would help.

“Remember when ya’ll were bragging that y’all had the best student section in the city? You know how many people from other schools were going to the game just to see that? I mean the power of social media is unbelievable and if we can’t do it through the school channel, we have to do it through social media,” Zapalac said.

Associate Principal Maggie Wiley said the only thing that will make the difference is student-driven results.

“The students have to be the ones to advocate and ask,” she said. “Businesses, community members, etc. will respond to students.”

Zapalac said parents and other people told her if SNAP does not happen this year, it may not happen ever again.

“That makes me so sad and that’s been the motivation because of kids who want to go to SNAP,” she said. “I thought it would be a shame if Cy Creek High School was the only high school in CFISD and surrounding school districts to not have a senior night after prom event.”

The SNAP committee unanimously voted to continue with plans and place a deposit for the venue.  If the time comes and the needed funds not accrued, the venue keeps the deposit, and next year’s SNAP inherits the remaining funds.

To volunteer, whether a student or parent, give a donation or for questions, contact the SNAP president, Kim Zapalac at (832) 610-0611, or email [email protected].