"On Cloud Nine"

Saturday, April 29, 2023

Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center

Bayou A/B

We want you to understand what these fundraisers are doing.  We know from experience that roughly half of all ticket purchasers will wait until the last minute.  It happens every year.  The problem is that “the last minute” comes much sooner for Opryland Hotel than for any other local prom venues.  Most people aren’t even thinking about prom until January, at which point we’ll have already paid non-refundable deposits totaling $3,750.  Basically, we need to have some non-ticket-related revenue coming in over the summer and autumn months just to keep us afloat.

And who wouldn’t want an opportunity to get a rebate on what’s already the lowest-priced Opryland Hotel prom ticket around?  We think it’s a pretty awesome deal for something that doesn’t cost you any extra time or money.

To prove that we have nothing to hide, here’s a copy of our contract (with confidential info redacted).         

We’re glad you asked!  Aside from making future proms better and better at a lower and lower cost to attend and adding to a fund that could ultimately support a FREE curriculum library… 

Let’s sweeten the deal!

Once we have 75 confirmed participants in both Amazon Smile and Kroger Community Rewards, we’ll conduct a random drawing for three (3) participants to receive their choice of:

A.  An extra guest for the $45 price at any point up to the closing of general ticket sales.

B.  A free three-pose portrait package.

You can increase your odds of winning by sending proof of family/friend registrations.  Every person registered counts toward the 75 registrations minimum for the drawing, and you’ll receive an extra entry for each proof you send us.

Let’s sweeten the deal EVEN MORE!

Our food and beverage (F&B) minimum — which also serves as our ballroom rental fee — is $7,500.  Again, this doesn’t include any decor, let alone professional services (DJ, photographer, etc.).  It’s what the hotel is charging us just for being there.


A.  we estimate our actual cost per person if we sell all 150 tickets to be about $75,

B.  there is potential for our fundraisers to more than make up the difference between ticket revenue and total costs, and

C.  we aren’t trying to “make money” off of this…

If we’ve collected more than $10,500 — via combination of ticket sales and fundraising — by March 29th (the date when our final deposit is due), then we’ll divide the surplus above and beyond $10,500 by the total number of tickets sold as of March 29th and issue each purchaser as of that date a rebate in the amount of that quotient. 

Just imagine a prom like this for less than $45!!!

To prove that we have nothing to hide, here’s a copy of our contract (with confidential info redacted). 

Please look at our refund policy and the answer to the question about what happens if we must cancel.

Furthermore, we’re offering rebates if we achieve collections above a certain threshold.

This isn’t about “making money”.  We can assure you that none of us are interested in going to prison for personal gain from a registered 501(c)(3) organization.

We acknowledge the exciting potential of these fundraisers to continue earning excess revenue — which will be put into making future proms even better AND more affordable.  (Much of our decor each year is infinitely reusable and gets added to things we store from previous years, meaning that we can accommodate more and more increasingly elaborate themes for less and less money as time goes on.)  If collections should really “go crazy”, we’d absolutely love to operate a FREE curriculum library!  Your participation in these effortless fundraising programs that cost you nothing in terms of additional time or money is an investment in future opportunities for the local homeschooling community.

To prove that we have nothing to hide, here’s a copy of our contract (with confidential info redacted). 

Surprisingly, this option is considerably more expensive for a five-hour event (6pm-11pm).  The difference lies in beverages.

You see, Marriott is charging us a $7,500 food and beverage (F&B) minimum.  Our assigned space can accommodate up to 150 guests, and our tax-exempt cost per plated dinner is $52.50.*

Beverages (including tea, punch, and water for students and coffee for adults) are included in this price for the duration of the event.

However, drinks are priced separately for every food option aside from the plated dinner option.

For reference, the beverage options are punch urns @ $5/person/hour (thus $25 per person for our event) or an “assorted sodas, juices, and bottled water bar” for $11.88/person for the first hour and $6.25/person for each additional hour (thus $36.88 per person for our event).

Of course, no outside food or beverages are permitted, and having water available for those who can’t drink the punch would only leave $15.62 per person for food before we’d exceed the cost per person for plated dinners with beverages included.  (As you might imagine, $15.62 wouldn’t buy much food at all.  Here’s the menu for reference.)

*You might be inclined to simply divide the $7,500 F&B minimum by 150 and assume that our cost is $50/person, but (tax-exempt) plated dinners are priced at $52.50 each, as shown here.  So if we sell out, we actually owe Marriott $7,875.

Unfortunately not.  This is because the food and beverage (F&B) minimum set by the hotel serves as our ballroom rental fee.  Since ballroom capacity is limited, each attendee costs us the same amount regardless of whether s/he eats there.

You have an opportunity to indicate any food allergies on your ticket purchase form.  Marriott (Gaylord Opryland Hotel) will be more than willing to accommodate you.

We can only think of three scenarios that would lead us to cancel this event.

1.  If we collect less than $3,000 — via combination of ticket sales and fundraising — by March 29th.*

2.  If the hotel requires proof of any vaccination.  (We will neither cancel nor refund if the hotel requires masking or any other health and safety measure other than vaccination.  PLEASE DO NOT ASK!) 

3.  An act of God.  (Some of you may remember when the hotel was flooded.)

*We assure you that this is a very reasonable and attainable goal.  Our handful of currently participating families have easily raised hundreds of dollars each year.  (This is how we’ve managed to keep our prom tickets priced at or below $50 when our actual cost per person has been up to around $70.)  Don’t forget that this $3,000 figure also includes ticket revenue as well. 


In the very unlikely event that circumstances force us to cancel, here’s what would happen next:

(A)  If we’ve received enough revenue from Amazon Smile, Kroger Community Rewards, and RaiseRight to make up the difference between the underpriced tickets sold and what we owe Marriott, we’ll apply the tickets purchased toward a prom at another TBD venue.

(B)  If our revenue from Amazon Smile, Kroger Community Rewards, and RaiseRight is insufficient to compensate for the difference between the underpriced tickets sold and what we owe Marriott, we’ll issue all purchasers a full refund and most likely won’t host a 2023 prom.

Please understand and appreciate the financial risk that our very small organization is assuming.  The final deposit due March 30th would wipe out the current balance in our bank account.  Because of our very generous refund policy . . .

Canceling between now and October 3Oth would cost us $1,875 for nothing.

Canceling between October 31st and January 28th would cost us $3,750 for nothing.

Canceling after January 28th would cost us $5,625 for nothing.

As you’ve probably figured out by now, you’d NEVER purchase refundable Opryland Hotel prom tickets from ANY other source.  We’re doing the unthinkable just to give enough people the confidence to purchase NOW so that we can make this a reality.

Our event will have dedicated security officers on site.

Additionally, the ballroom has only two sets of doors along the same wall that will both lock automatically.

We obviously can’t force anyone to stay until the end.  Attempting to do so could pose a safety concern in and of itself.

With that being said, there are only two reasons for any student to leave the ballroom between check-in and 11pm.

  1. If the student needs to use the nearest hotel restroom, we’ll set a timer for 10 minutes.  If the student hasn’t returned to the ballroom before the timer goes off, s/he won’t be readmitted to prom, and we’ll notify the parent/guardian on file.  (Note that the ballroom doors lock automatically.)
  2. If the student declares his/her intention to leave prom prior to 11pm, we’ll immediately notify the parent/guardian on file.
Each student must officially check-out prior to departure.

Of course!  Just plan to arrive early and finish up before prom check-in time.  (Please see the answer to the above question about leaving early.)

Any changes will be immediately posted to our public Facebook Page.

We understand that some of you may not have a Facebook account.  We assure you that this site will also be updated here, but since doing so requires access to a desktop computer, those updates may come several hours or even up to multiple days after the Facebook Page has already been updated depending on our families’ travels and schedules.  We appreciate your understanding and encourage you if at all possible to keep in touch with someone who follows our public Facebook Page.

We appreciate your willingness to help in making this the best prom possible.

To thank you for your time and efforts, we offer all of our volunteers a rebate on each student ticket purchased.

Our Sponsors

Do you own a business or know of a business that would like to be featured here and on our public Facebook Page?  We’re hoping to distribute “swag bags” and hold a random drawing for one or more scholarships.  We’ll be offering free promotion of businesses who donate goods and/or services and/or money to these efforts.