Traders Point church hosts special needs prom

(WISH Photo/Laura Kennedy)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Prom is often the most special event in a teenager’s life, but oftentimes those with special needs never end up attending that dance.

So an Indianapolis church makes sure each year that those individuals get to have that experience.

From shopping for the dress or tux, to getting their hair and makeup done and then hitting the dance floor, Traders Point took care of each aspect of prom for those who attended Friday night.

“It feels almost like a Hollywood runway with the lights and the music,” Don Moran said.

Moran brought his son, McKay, to experience prom at Traders Point Christian Church.

“We are so excited that so many folks would come together and sacrifice hours of planning and their night to make this happen,” he said.

More than 1,000 volunteers spent their Friday night to help those in the special needs community experience prom.

“We have a lot of guests in their 60s and 70s and prom wasn’t available when they were in high school,” Traders Point Special Needs Dir. Wendy Wilken said, “So they’ve never been to a prom.”

“For McKay this is huge because when we think about our other kids, they’ve had things to celebrate, academic success and being on sports teams,” Moran said, “For McKay and folks in his situation who don’t always have those opportunities, to be able to come to an evening like this, it’s just can’t describe it, we’re so excited.”

More than 400 guests like McKay were welcomed with a paparazzi grand entrance, then whisked away to the hair and makeup salon.

The church also took care of their outfits.

“We have a shopping day about a month ahead of prom that our guests can come to and they pick out their perfect dress, their perfect suit,” Wilken said.

They also enjoyed a catered meal and then hit the dance floor.

That’s an experience organizer Wilken said is rare for the guests and something they look forward to every year.

“Also, a lot of our guests may not get married or be in a wedding and this allows them to experience that and allows their caregivers to experience that with them as well,” she said.

There was also a special “caregivers retreat” room for the family members and friends who take care of the adults to take a break and enjoy the night as well.