By Rick Dayton

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Thousands of high school students go to prom every spring.

They get dressed up, go out for a fancy dinner and celebrate with their friends. However, some students who would typically never have that experience, did just that this morning.

They come from Elizabeth Forward, Chartiers Valley, Bethel Park, South Fayette. Others go to school at Baldwin-Whitehall, South Allegheny and Keystone Oaks.

Today, they celebrated prom at 10 a.m.

“I’m going to dance. I’m going to have so much fun,” Taylor Blair from Bethel Park said.

This prom is for kids with intellectual disabilities and in some cases, physical disabilities as well. But, there is no limit to how much fun they can have.

“They walked into school and they were just jumping out of their skin with happiness,” Keystone Oaks Life Skills Teacher Joyelle Galiszewski said.

The event was hosted by Elizabeth Forward Schools at Bella Sera in Canonsburg. The space was donated by the owner.

“It should speak to a lot of people to get involved with a lot of things like this because it really makes you feel good when you look out and you can really see people just being happy,” Owner Tricia Derry said.

“My job as a DJ, I want to see people dancing and having a good time, so seeing the kids out here dancing already before lunch is even served makes me very happy,” Mike Ley said.

Mike’s time and talents are donated, as were the photographer, the flowers and the magician.

Many of the lady’s gowns and the young men’s suits were gifts as well. But, not all of the kids are in the life skills program. Some volunteered to come, to dance, to laugh, to take pictures, to just hang out and provide the full prom experience.

“I knew it was going to be early. I had to get up. I had to be on-time. I had to get ready. Look nice, snazzy today so I had to be up real, real early,” Savaun Jones with the Keystone Oaks Best Friends Club said.


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