Delaware County Special Needs Prom says yes to the dress

Mindy Kemper and Lynne Hatfield organizing dresses for the Say Yes to the Dress Event

MUNCIE, Ind.--- Prom night is considered a staple event in one’s high school career. When two mothers realized their children would not have an outlet after they graduated high school, they teamed up to create the Delaware County Special Needs Prom.

The moms work together with members of the community to donate dresses, tuxes and the chance for the ones attending to remember their big night.

“Mindy and I are both mothers of special needs children, they had a small prom that got canceled so we took it upon ourselves that we knew how much our kids loved it that we were going to continue to do that,” Lynne Hatfield, co-founder of Delaware County Special Needs Prom, said.

After years of hosting the special needs prom, one memory from one of the earliest ones stuck in Hatfield’s mind, sparking the start of the Say Yes to the Dress Event.

“I remember one of the first proms we did I got a letter from a girl saying that was the first time she’s ever felt beautiful,” Hatfield said. “It broke my heart; I want them to feel beautiful every day.”

The Say Yes to the Dress event allows the ladies that are attending the prom to get a customed dress fitting and so much more than a scheduled appointment.

"We have shoes, accessories, purses, light refreshments and a photographer, it just makes it an enjoyable experience for them and it’s just a day to make them feel pretty,” Mindy Kemper, co-founder, said.

Both Kemper and Hatfield said that the feeling of when someone finds their perfect dress is priceless.

The dress event is the start of many memories created of the prom, not only for the ones in attendance but for the parents and caregivers that get to watch their children in a relaxed environment.

“It’s three hours where the world is perfect,” Kemper said. “It’s one of those experiences you didn’t know you were missing until you came and it just makes you feel good.”

The Fairytales and Fireflies Prom will be on May 21st. Kemper and Hatfield will be accepting donations for the prom up to the day of the event, and are also looking for sponsors for next year’s prom.

Contact Anna Chalker with comments at


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