BY SUE BICE, BEACON CONTRIBUTOR
It was a night to honor Kings and Queens, but not members of royalty from some far off country. They were from our own communities. People we see every day as we shop, walk down the street and live our lives.
This special night is held once a year, set aside to honor special needs people and their families and caregivers. And when it happens it becomes something extraordinary, a night of pure happiness and joy.
On Saturday, Aug. 14, an almost overwhelming 220 people attended “Tropical Nights,” the Special Needs Prom at Damschroder Hall at the Ottawa County Fairgrounds in Oak Harbor. The partiers included guests from Ottawa County and surrounding counties, and 25 volunteers.
The excitement was obvious as the prom attendees were greeted with applause as they walked down the red carpet. The delighted smiles were everywhere as their pictures were taken! Crowns and tiaras were presented, then flowers. At 5 p.m. a wonderful dinner was served.
The anticipation was almost palpable, and finally at 6 p.m. the music began.
Dancing the night away with the Kings and Queens of the Prom were moms and dads, family members, caregivers, staff, and prom volunteers. There were feelings of gratefulness and giddiness, a mood and message that was peaceful, explosive, happy and joyful all at the same time.
They danced the locomotion and twirled in their wheelchairs as their arms waved in the air. It was an evening of pure joy all around.
At 8 p.m. the winners names for the door prizes were drawn. The whole night could be summed up when one young Prom King won a door prize and was simply overcome with joy during an evening to be remembered for a long, long time.