MUNCIE, Ind. (NewsLink)- The Delaware County Special Needs Prom is asking for donations, sponsorships and volunteers to help make this year’s event possible.
The event has grown from 60 people to over 500, and event organizers Lynne Hatfield and Mindy Kemper say they’re planning for 600 this year.
“We’re constantly being contacted- can the kids from my school come? Even though we say it’s the Delaware County [prom], it seems like we’re branching out into surrounding counties,” Kemper said.
Kemper and her family went for the first time four years ago.
“I just remember how relaxed I was because I was surrounded by my peers. It was a night where I could let my guard down … everyone was on the same level. It didn’t matter anything that happened, and I had this overwhelming feeling of just total peace,” Kemper said.
The next year, Kemper met Hatfield, and the two have planned the prom ever since. Kemper estimates they'll need $15,000 to put on this year's prom, and are asking the community for help.
“Our budget used to be 3,000 and that's our food bill this year. We're just going so large and we want a full experience,” Hatfield said.
Anyone older than ninth grade can attend, and everything is free to attendees, including food, prom dresses, tuxedos, makeup, bras and jewelry.
“If you don’t have a special needs child, I think it’s not as important but for us as parents of special needs children to have a place for them to be accepted, to be whoever they want to be and be beautiful for the day,” Hatfield said. “I can’t tell [you] how many - that’s what gets me the most - when I have someone say ‘I’ve never felt beautiful before’ and then they get the day to feel beautiful.”
Angelita Gonzales attended last year’s prom and has plans to go again this year and dance the whole night away.
“Every year I go to the prom is a really pretty moment, magical and it’s always fun,” Gonzales said.
This year’s theme is “Be Our Guest… A Night with Mickey and Friends.” The prom is May 4 from 6-9 p.m. at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. For more information or to become a volunteer, click here.