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Austin-East students enjoy prom thanks to generous surprise donation

Belk paid for everything to let Austin-East students enjoy their prom night -- from the venue, to the tuxes, and even the hair styling.

Austin-East High School students got to enjoy their prom in downtown Knoxville Friday night after a company decided to share the love (and some money). 

Last month, Belk surprised Austin-East High School students with some good news: They would be covering everything from tickets, to gowns, to venue and hair stylists -- all to make sure all Austin-East seniors will be able to attend the prom this year.   

"Once that happened, I saw them coming to school smiling everyday, like this is okay," Senior Stefan Vonner said. "You could just tell by the way people walked around during school like they had a weight of their shoulders, because it was a blessing." 

Some 65 percent of students there may not be able to afford a ticket to the prom and the extra purchases that come with it, so Belk made a donation to help those students out and cover all the costs that come with the prom.

In the past, Austin-East seniors have held fundraisers to attend their own prom. 

On average, the prom can cost hundreds of dollars per person.