Last night, March 30th, myself and 5 of my fellow staff members were invited to help celebrate with the kids supported by the Friend's of Scott Foundation, at their "Unforgettable Prom." When I was first asked by the volunteer coordinator if Partie's Unique would we willing to donate their time and costumes for this event, I was very interested in participating due to my family's personal history with cancer. Three of my four grandparents have died from the disease and I just can't imagine what challenges a family faces when it's their child that is affected by the disease. I was going to offer this organization whatever I could to help make the night magical fo the kids attending this event.
I was able to recruit 2 guys and 3 additional girls as well as myself to attend the prom dressed up as Princes and Princesses to greet the kids as they arrive and to take photos with during the dance. The event was held at the Hall of Champions in Balboa Park and when we arrived it was truely magical. There was a red carpet out front with video cameras, photographers and celebrities to greet the kids as they arrived to the dance. The inside of the museum was transformed into a fairytale theme complete with castle towers, carriage and wishing well for the kids to throw rocks into with their wishes. In the center of the area was the dance floor and white tables with twinkle lights all over. I know if this had been my prom I would have been thrilled to have such a memorable experience.
When the kids started to arrive we helped to greet them and welcome them to the dance. They were interviewed on the red carpet and given corsages. Once inside at the dance there was food, a DJ, photographers and everything you could think of to help them make the most of their prom. It was such a neat experience to be able to help create the atmosphere of fantasy at this event with our characters. The DJ lead the kids in several dance battles and I was completely floored when this petite asian girl got on stage to battle it out doing hip hop dancing. She was in a light blue formal dress but when the music started she got completely serious and was full on crumping! It was unreal!
My favorite part of the night was when they announced the prince and princesses, and the king and queen of the prom. The one boy who was selected as prince rolled out in a wheelchair with the largest smile on his face. All of the princesses were equally thrilled to be standing in front of the crowd while getting their sashes placed on them. Then the king was announced and it was a young man in a pink vest who, although very slight in frame, walked with great pride and confidence. Then the queen was announced and at first she didn't appear for a few seconds, but then she came from the back of the room, holding up her gown, barefooted after ditching her shoes to dance earlier in the night, with a smile ear to ear. She had asked the DJ for special request earlier in the night and he granted it as she was crowned. Then the Taylor Swift song Love Story started and this girl started singing with the DJ headset on. The entire dance floor was cleared and she took the opporunity to take the stage and sing along to the song as well as dance about on the floor. I imagine she must have done this at least dozen times in her room at home and it was so neat to see her get to do it in front of people. To think that some of these kids may not get more opportunities in their life and they have to seize everyone they get, really makes you thankful to experience a night like this. Then halfway through the song she grabbed the boy who was just crowned king and brought him in the middle of the dance floor with her. It was hard to hold back my emotion seeing these two teenagers battling a life threatening disease singing and dancing in the middle of a room full of people. What courage they have.
It was an amazing night, an amazing cause, and amazing kids! So glad we were invited to be a part of it.