Lauren Brown, who runs Sisters Boutique and Misters Menswear in Lint Riggs, had been inundated with requests for dresses and suits prior to the outbreak of Covid-19.
Sadly for youngsters, the opportunity to wear their new outfits won’t materialise in the manner they had hoped this summer.
Dealing with dejected pupils and their parents led to Lauren contacting fellow Falkirk firms to gauge their enthusiasm and willingness for laying on an alternative event for all pupils in the region.
The overwhelmingly positive response she received both from businesses and mums and dads on social media convinced Lauren to press ahead with her intention to hold a “class of 2020” party, whenever the timing is right.
She hopes to bring on board more supporters and would welcome any suggestions of venues and offers of help.
Lauren, who has operated in Falkirk for 24 years, said: “From the community’s point of view, I thought, ‘These kids are Falkirk’s future and they can’t just be tossed aside’.
“They grow up waiting on the prom, it’s a big thing. They haven’t been able to get results for exams and they’ve lost their last week at school. Everything has been taken from them and the final straw is there’s no prom either.
“I fully agree you’ve got to cancel the proms but you postpone them, you don’t cancel them completely.
“People have really supported me and been loyal to me. I’ve sold a lot of prom dresses and all I’m seeing is the disappointment.
“I’ve watched these kids getting excited. I’ve got a lot of dresses in for girls already and they can’t wear them at the prom.
“A lot of the boys have got their suits and I think they all deserve something to look forward to. I don’t think cancelling it is fair.
“I spoke to hairdressers and make up salons and they all said the same. From a business point of view it’s a bit of a disaster.
“I contacted the business improvement district and said, ‘Could we put on a class of 2020 event and get all the businesses involved?’
“I put a post on Facebook and the reaction was unbelievable. Everybody was saying the pupils deserve it.”
Hundreds have been in touch with Lauren to pledge their support and identify possible locations. Among these are Falkirk Town Hall, The Falkirk Stadium and City Nightclub.
Wherever the event is held, Lauren insists making such an arrangement is the least she could do to.
Given the way the local community has supported her business venture over the years, she feels it’s her duty to give something back.
Lauren said: “If Falkirk hadn’t supported me I wouldn’t be in business today.
“During lockdown I’ve felt the love of Falkirk people who have sent me messages saying they hope my business opens again.
“This is my way of saying thank you for letting me grow the business into what it has become.
“It’s just wrong for the pupils to have all this expectation taken away from them so cruelly. It’s not like we don’t have the businesses, people and premises to help.
“From my point of view, more than ever the community needs to come together and if there’s one thing the people of Falkirk are good at doing it’s that.”