On June 13th we held our 5th annual senior prom. This year truly was out of this world as our prom evolved into an actual prom night with the senior students from IE Weldon and our Seniors. A Night Under The Stars...senior/senior prom.
Here is how things unfolded:
Tuesday: We began by taking a small group of residents shopping earlier in the week to the dollar store. This is where they selected additional decorations to the items I purchased. Imagine six seniors of varying capabilities navigating the dollar store with staff while looking for the perfect prom king/queen crowns, the accent colour for decorating, and debating the "theme" of the night. It was priceless as we entered the line to pay and the residents proudly said "We're having a prom". A silence came over the line and people began to tell our residents how wonderful that was.
Wednesday: The morning was spent on ladders. We were hanging tissue paper puffs and streamers as residents directed myself on where they should be. In the afternoon I met with the seniors at IE Weldon during their biology class. There a family member and I shared the history of our prom. Students asked questions of what to expect and were excited with anticipation. Students volunteered as a class to style hair, provide manicures, apply makeup, and invite our residents to the prom as dates.
Thursday: Prom Night: The night arrived. The morning was spent completing the decorations with our "prom committee" of six. Dresses were hung in the family dining room. Jewelry was displayed for residents to select. When the students arrived they divided themselves into committees -decorating, photo booth, DJ booth for lights and sounds, floral, and more. Our prom was a heartfelt night as students escorted our residents to the florist's table where they were presented a boutonniere or corsage. Then taken for a stop at the photo booth for their prom photo. Before they entered the prom they were given their photo right away to help them remember the night. Inside the auditorium the students/activity staff served the residents punch, tea, coffee, and sweets. We danced the night away in our wheelchairs, on the floor, and surprised a resident with his favourite Justin Bieber song as they surrounded him with Bieber fan posters we painted. The night slowed down and we voted on our prom king and queen. Finishing the night with a soft slow dance of the newly elected king and queen of prom.
The most touching moment was a daughter introducing her dad (our resident) to her date. Both were dressed to the nines as if on a real date of a night out dancing. How beautiful is it that families have grown comfortable enough to bring their date/partner to our prom? Our home has become a place where bringing your date is a natural step in meeting your dad.
A huge thank you is due to Mr & Mrs Koekebakker of IE Weldon. They were the ones who heard of our prom two years ago and reached out to us. The ones who instilled this passion and excitement in young students. We had twenty-two students, three staff, two teachers, and countless family members come out to help bring this together. It was an exhausting night...but most of all it was a night to remember.
A night that brought families, students, teachers, and staff together to create a village.