Open Standard Media Player version 1.3
SUPERIOR - For many high school students, the night defines their high school experience.
Unfortunately some people with developmental disabilities never get the chance.
Prom, in a more welcoming setting, makes its home in the Superior Elks Lodge on Friday night.
Put together by organizers at Superior’s “Challenge Center”, which offers services and structure for people with developmental disabilities, the event offered both a place to boogie and a chance to attend prom for many who may have felt less invited in a more public setting.
With make-up applied and nails painted, Karyn Alyse Cheever said she demands perfection.
"The music and everything there is like amazing and everyone should be spectacular and wearing things that we love,” Cheever said, wearing a dark lavender dress.
Organizer Joanie Cismoski said it is, afterall, a night to remember.
"It’s a prom for the Challenge Center. The folks here are age from high school up to the age of 30,” Cismoski said. “Some of them did not get to attend their high school proms for whatever reason."
"Our goal here is for them to have a blast. So we're going to leave here and go to the Elks lodge,” Cismoski said.
Prom-goers said they headed onto the floor for one reason.
"To dance,” Charles Brunner said. "I like moving around.”
“Moving around and spinning, a little twist here and there,” Cismoski added, Charles smiling in response.
"There are no paid staff working this event. Our staff has volunteered,” Katey Geistfeld, Challenge Center Consumer Service Coordinator, said.
"It's also a really important way to bring our young people together and maybe give them an experience that maybe they haven't had or maybe just one that they expect to have."
"I think that prom is an important milestone in everybody's life and it's important for everybody no matter who you are,” Cismoski said.
At the event, dancers seem to be everyone's partners and there is no sense of any judgment.
"Because they are like brothers and sisters to me,” Cheever said.
"This means that everybody can be a star and show their inner rock star."
Many groups donated their time and money for the event: Superior Elks gave up their space for the event, Trends Salon doing hair and make–up, and Superior Light and Sound gave a heavy discount for music.