People dancing, dance floor

People are upset after a prom took place at a Mid-Michigan banquet center Tuesday night.

“It’s not right,” said Steve Dobis, owner of Forest Edge and Hellenic Banquet Center.

That’s how Dobis felt after witnessing the prom event on social media Tuesday night.

He said the prom took place at the Swan Valley Banquet Center with students from Valley Lutheran High School.

“I was quite shocked at that moment to see the party going on inside,” Dobis said.

Dobis owns a separate banquet hall in Saginaw that is temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He said the Swan Valley Banquet Center should not have allowed this to happen.

Dobis said it defies the governor’s orders, which only allow for 10 people inside a venue and 100 people outside of it.

“All of us who are abiding by the orders and that are losing money and thousands and thousands of dollars, I don’t feel that it is right that they’re able to go and host events,” Dobis said.

TV5 reached out to Swan Valley Banquet Center for comment but has not heard back yet.

However, school officials said the prom held last night was not even under the authority of Valley Lutheran High School.

“We canceled it because, one, we could not have the number of people who ordinarily would come to prom. We could not host something like that with all the dancing and all the socializing that goes on. We could not be able to manage those social distancing requirements,” said Dr. John Brandt, executive director of Valley Lutheran High School.

Brandt said they had canceled the school’s prom in June and that it was supposed to be held at a different banquet center.

He said they never authorized this event and that it’s unfortunate a party like this would take place without proper social distancing.

“I do understand where people are coming from, but by the same token, I think that people need to exercise good judgement,” Brandt said.

The Attorney General’s Office issued a statement saying executive order violations should be reported to local law enforcement agencies.

Copyright 2020 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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(4) comments


This was not Valley Lutheran’s prom. It was a private party. Reporting it as anything else is libel towards Valley Lutheran High School.


This is just a prime example of people picking and choosing what to be mad about. I didnt hear a peep about COVID-19 when there were hundreds of people protesting in Saginaw and Bay City. I also didn't see an article about Gov. Whitmer breaking her own guidelines and walking in a massive protests. I went to this prom and there were precautions taken to check for COVID-19. At the door you were asked if you know anyone who has the disease, if you've been sick the last few days and then your temperature was taken. This man does not care about the disease at all. His complaint is about money and thats every business owners complaint currently. Swan Valley made decision to open its doors to students that have been robbed of half the school year and seniors that had half their lasts stolen from them. If this man is tired of losing money then he should open up his business just like that barber in Oscoda if im correct. Michigan is tired of being under Gov. Whitmers boot so, if your actually that upset then come do something about it.


What makes me angry is that a K-8 Lutheran teacher from one of the area schools organized it!


Very unfortunate that Valley Lutheran's name will be attached to this poor decision made by a parent unable/ unwilling to accept the actual threat of COVID. Why not at least have it outside? Shame on the parents. Shame on the banquet center.

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