SCI celebrates its first prom night
Friday night was an extra special night out for South Central Industries (SCI), as it hosted its inaugural prom, Night to Dream, for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
More than 500 community volunteers came together to offer the special guests ages 18 and older a night of dining, dancing and karaoke, as well as a chance to meet their favorite princesses and/or wrestling heroes, participate in a neon-infused glow room, photo booth, magic shows, balloon art and limo rides, to name a few.
“We have been so overwhelmed with the response from over fifty sponsors, 500 volunteers and so many organizations coming together to partner with us to make this night as magical and special as possible,” SCI Director, Tina Hanna, said. “The response our community has shown for this inaugural event has far surpassed our greatest expectations and we can only imagine what the future holds.”
Hanna said since most of society is naturally included in such a traditional event, it can often be taken for granted; for some in the community that access is not so easy or openly offered.
“We want our area special needs individuals to have this chance to experience a life moment,” Hanna said. “And in a welcoming environment.”
Since November SCI Marketing Director Lacie King and Assistant Administrator Kaylee Jones worked nonstop on the event, Hanna said, and she said she could not be more pleased with their efforts and attention to detail.
Hanna said many of the local organizations stepped up to offer support, including Life.Church, by hosting and supporting the event; Chick-fil-A catered volunteers’ meals; Droffats Catering and Billy Boys Bar-B-Que catered guests' and buddies’ meals; Vision Bank and House of Flowers provided corsages and boutonnieres; Louis Maltos provided the limo; and many other groups and individuals helped, as well.
King said many of the guests were a little nervous and hesitant about participating due to the unknown.
She said many had never participated in a prom and could not visualize what their experience would be.
“Hopes are that after word spreads of the magic of this evening that not only will more individuals with special needs be comfortable attending but bringing their friends as well,” King said.
At the venue, each guest and their buddy walked down the red carpet into an evening filled with activities.
Hanna said the idea to host a prom here came after several SCI clients got the opportunity to attend a prom in Tulsa last year.
“Everyone had so much fun, and the inclusion was very positive,” she said. “They all got so much out of it.”
So, the Night to Dream prom was born and is planned to become an annual event, Hanna said.
Plans are being discussed to lower the age to include special needs guests that are 15 to 17 years old next year.
For more information, call (405) 275-3851 or visit southcentralindustriesinc.com.