St. Mary’s Holds Prom with Help from Norfolk Academy

Music blared and smiles abounded on Sunday, April 29, 2012, as residents at St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children danced the afternoon away at prom, with a little help from their friends.

In what has become an annual tradition, students from Norfolk Academy decorated St. Mary’s Atrium and also served as dates for the young adults at St. Mary’s. The Auxiliary Board of St. Mary’s Home provided dresses, tuxes and flowers. A volunteer, Michelle Gabriele, came in to professionally apply the girls’ makeup. St. Mary’s staff and family members of the residents fixed the girls’ hair and helped the girls and boys get dressed for the big dance. Brandon Sutton, a licensed practical nurse at St. Mary’s, acted as DJ.

Koko was voted Prom Queen, and her good friend Brandon was voted Prom King. On hand to crown Brandon was Tiana Smith, a direct support professional at St. Mary’s. Brandon had asked Tiana to accompany him to prom. Brandon cannot speak but, during the dance, he used his computerized communication device to type out a message to Tiana: “I love you.”

You can see more photos from prom on our Facebook page.


A Special Night for the Home’s Teens

Putting on fancy dresses or tuxedos. Dancing to the latest music and retro tunes like the requisite “YMCA.” Voting for king and queen.
Twenty-one of the older residents of St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children took part in these time-honored rituals of prom on Sunday.
This was the fourth prom held at St. Mary’s Home and the second done in collaboration with students from Norfolk Academy, who were matched up with residents as their dates and decorated the Atrium in an Asian-influenced style, with red balloons and golden bows. SMHDC staff also helped with prom, providing food, putting on the girls’ makeup and dancing a bit themselves. St. Mary’s Auxiliary Board paid for tuxedo rentals and a DJ.
“Every opportunity they have to interact with their peers who are not disabled is wonderful,” said Marie Armstrong, whose niece, Victoria, was all smiles during the dance. 
You can read more about the prom in today’s Virginian-Pilot and see a video of the prom below: