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Special needs prom a success

By STEVEN CALHOUN/Staff Writer

The May 6 prom for children with special needs was well attended and full of fun and laughter as children danced, ate and met their favorite superheroes.

“I think it gives them a chance to do their thing as a group,” parent Ashley Lack said. “For them, this is something special.”

Her son Gavin Lack posed with costumed volunteer superheroes for a picture, then hurried back to the dance floor.

Jemison City Hall’s event center was decorated like a comic book. Cutouts of superheroes lined the edges of the room, and there was a skyline with dramatic lighting for guests to take pictures in front of.

The children and their parents danced to “The Cupid Shuffle” and other popular songs throughout the night. Pageant queens and event volunteers joined them in a fun time on the dance floor.

There were finger foods and superhero themed cakes for everyone to enjoy between songs.

During the event, organizer Erica Jones spoke to everyone and reminded them of why the event is so special.

Jones organized the prom last year for her son, Jacob Jones, who died from Tay-Sachs just a few days before he was able to attend. The group still held the first prom and decided to throw it again this year.

“Last year we had about 40 [people] including the families. This year we had 27 [children] on the registry, and that’s not including the families. We had a very nice turnout,” Jones said. “It was kind of mixed emotions. It was nice to see the kids happy, but it was kind of sad at the same time because Jacob couldn’t see.”

Jones said the community’s support for the event was “fantastic.”

“Honestly, we may need a bigger facility if it keeps growing,” Jones said. “We had some tell us that they want to be a bigger part of it. I love the community’s response to the kids.”