Prior to the prom, at 5 p.m., young ladies can come to the church and have their hair and nails done. "Our friends from Pinned Up Salon have donated their time," said Williams. "It's very important that the young ladies make an appointment for this service." Registering for the prom and beauty services is done by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A few years ago, Stillwater Church realized there was an untapped segment of their congregation needing extra care and attention. Several church members who are therapists and educators began a Special Friends ministry, which ensures that all families feel welcomed, loved and supported in a safe and supportive environment for special needs children and their families.
Williams said students are welcome to bring their parents to the prom. “And in fact, we have a special area for parents. We had a lot of families come last year to be photographed with their prom-goer,” she said.
From observing the past two years, Williams says the biggest hit with the kids is the music and dancing: “DJ Willie, who rocked the floor last year, is back. He’s wonderful and the kids love him.”
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And for students with physical limitations or in wheelchairs, the dancing is modified. “It doesn’t matter, they all get out on the floor and have so much fun,” Williams said.
The church provides training for volunteers who are chaperoning. All chaperones are background checked.
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How to go
What: Special Friends Prom (for special-needs people ages 15-23)
When: 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, Feb. 9
Where: Stillwater United Methodist Church, 6911 Frederick Pike, Dayton
Contact: Must RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org