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Oswego Organizations Coming Together for Special Needs Prom

Apr 07, 2015 02:12PM ● By Steven Jack

For many high school students attending prom is a rite of passage that might be taken for granted. 

But for an entire segment of students, going to prom might not even be a consideration. Those students are living with a variety of special needs that could make it impossible for them take part in the evening that so many teens dream of. 

That was the idea behind Oswego's inaugural special needs prom, Celebrating our Abilities Hollywood Style, scheduled for 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, April 18, at Oswego East High School. The free event is co-hosted by Celebrate Differences and Big Life Community Church, both in Oswego.

“I’ve been thinking about hosting a prom for the past three or four years,” said Rebecca Christiansen, the head of Celebrate Differences. “Then we had a local girl with autism who left her school because of bullying, but still wanted to go to prom. She couldn’t go to the school’s prom because of the bullying issue, so that’s when we decided to go through with our event.”

In true prom style, the event will include red-carpet arrivals, professional photographers, a DJ, food and dancing. Christiansen said planning the event has been a whirlwind of activity.

“We literally just started putting this together at the beginning of March,”  she said. “Everything has come together so fast. Everyone has been amazing. We have an incredible group of people working on this.”

The event is open to those with special needs between the ages of 16 to 25. Christiansen said she’s hoping for about 50 prom-goers this year. There is still time to RSVP for the prom, and those wishing to attend can register online by clicking here. 

Volunteers are also still needed. To sign up, click here.

Sponsors for the event include Firehouse Pizza, Domino's Pizza, Chick Fil A, The Chocolate Shoppe, Small Cakes, Page’s Popcorn, Floral Expressions and Gifts, Re-Joyce Antiques, Thrivent Financial, Ink 180, Villa Entertainment, Caitlyn Elizabeth Photography, Response Graphics and Embroidery and School District 308.