Decorations, music, dancing and photos.
It was prom for dozens of Columbia County special needs students Saturday in Evans.
“It’s everything we wanted and more,” one of the prom organizers, Greenbrier High School senior Amanda Freeman, said.
Amanda Freeman and Lakeside senior Mary Michael Stetz planned the event for students in the special needs programs at all five county high schools for their senior projects.
Students, dressed to the nines, arrived on a red carpet and were greeted by flashbulbs going along with the evening’s Hollywood theme.
“I love it,” said Greenbrier student Kenesha Tate, 21. Tate, along with most other prom-goers, enjoyed the DJ and dancing at Be My Guest Catering and Events in Evans.
Terri Freeman, owner of Be My Guest, wanted to hold a similar event and recruited Freeman (no relation) and Stetz to organize it.
Amanda Freeman, who is active in her school’s Buddy Club, said she thought such an event was necessary because many of the students might feel uncomfortable at their own school proms. She wanted to give them a chance to dance and have a great time.
For most teens, prom is a memorable night.
“I want them to have the same experience that we have,” Stetz said.
The festivities included formal prom photos and costumes for wacky pictures. A DJ kept the music going as most students hit the dance floor.
Like many students, Greenbrier student Tavonte Hawes, 18, has been looking forward to the prom and brought his Michael Jackson moves to the dance floor.
“Literally, all week long, it’s all we’ve heard about,” said Jennifer Perez, special needs teacher and supervisor of the Buddy Club.
As the students danced the night away, many parents sat out of the way smiling as they watched their children socialize, laugh and dance.
Kaitlin Allie, 16, of Greenbrier was the event’s social butterfly, greeting everyone with a big smile. Her mother, Jean, got to spend the afternoon helping her daughter get ready for the prom.
“She wouldn’t have this opportunity had this not have happened,” Kaitlin’s mother said. “We are so grateful.”