Prom caters to people with disabilities

Submitted PhotoAndrew Noyes is crowned prom king at a previous prom hosted by the Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks and Recreation Authority for people with disabilities. The 2019 prom is 6-9 p.m. Friday, June 14, at Mathis City Auditorium. 

VALDOSTA – Individuals with disabilities are invited to dance the night away in a prom setting this week. 

The Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks and Recreation Authority hosts the 11th annual prom event, 6-9 p.m. Friday, June 14, at Mathis City Auditorium, 2300 N. Ashley St., organizers said.

With an Enchanted Forest theme, organizers said anyone with developmental disabilities may attend.

The event will follow a traditional high-school prom setting where there will be a prom king and queen, a DJ and refreshments.

“It’s inclusive, and it’s special because it gives them the opportunity to have a prom experience when they otherwise might not have that,” Jessica Catlett, parks and rec marketing and public relations director, said. “It’s prom with no pressure.”

Though attire is semi-formal, staff said guests may come as they choose.

“While it’s a semi-formal event, and we encourage them to dress up as much as they want, people come in whatever they’re comfortable in,” Catlett said, “and they are loved and included and everybody has a good time regardless.”

Tammy Crosby, parks and rec therapeutics coordinator, said the prom’s primary focus is community awareness.

She said the Valdosta-Lowndes Parks and Recreation Authority strives to provide a safe, loving and comfortable environment for guests.

“It brings a tear to my eye just thinking about it honestly,” she said. “It’s just a warm, welcoming, loving feeling.”

Wes Sewell Photography will take photos, 6-8 p.m. Tickets are $8 and available online at vlpra.com, at the door the night of the event and at VLPRA, 1901 N. Forrest St. Call (229) 259-3507 for more information. 

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