Prom is one of the most anticipated event of the year for high school students.
For area Special Olympic athletes, Saturday night was no different.
“The parents wanted to do something to celebrate their athletes, so last year they started a prom,” said Crystal Harrison, event coordinator and parent of a special needs child.
The Unified Prom brought together Special Olympians and their peer partners for a night of dancing and having fun. The event brought in Special Olympians from Puyallup, Rogers, Emerald Ridge, Foss, and Mount Tahoma high schools.
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Special Olympians from Sound Athletics, which provides a chance for graduates to compete, were also in attendance.
“It’s a celebration,” Harrison said. “They get to get dressed up and hang out with their friends.”
When Harrison was in the midst of preparing for the big night, word spread around Puyallup about the cause.
PRIDE, the Emerald Ridge booster club, helped with decorations and donations. The local Kiwanis Club also gave a donation, the leadership team at Emerald Ridge donated its time, the ER cheer squad from volunteered with hair and makeup, the Rogers High ROTC provided escorts into the building, and professional stylists donated their time to do hair and makeup as well.
It’s something bigger than all of us. These students don’t get to go to homecoming or prom usually, so it’s a blessing for these students to have this. The community really came together to donate their services and time — it’s amazing.
Bebe Colley, co-president of PRIDE
“It’s something bigger than all of us,” said Bebe Colley, co-president of PRIDE. “These students don’t get to go to homecoming or prom usually, so it’s a blessing for these students to have this. The community really came together to donate their services and time — it’s amazing.”
Special Olympian and Puyallup High student Katelin Magin was one of more than 100 students who attended the prom. She also got her hair and makeup done by stylists who volunteered their time.
“It was pretty fun,” she said about getting her hair done. “I’m excited about the prom and getting to hang out with my friends.”
Sarah Berndt, 19, was celebrating her last year as a Special Olympian at the prom.
“I’m very excited for tonight,” she said while getting her hair done. “It’s my last year here and I’ll miss everybody.”
Faren Oglesbee, a hair stylist and makeup artist, donated her time to help get each Special Olympian looking their best for the big night.
“I thought it would be fun to come hang out and do hair and makeup,” she said. “How could you say no to going to the prom?”