My name is Lynne Hatfield and have a son, Hayden, that has autism. This is why this event is so important to me. I love when we start planning this event but then also dread the fundraising. I struggle every year and have to fight for money for this wonderful night. What’s difficult is raising the money, I’m just a mom who didn’t want to see this special night end when it was cancelled in 2014. I decided to take it over. Then I met Mindy Kemper and she offered to help me. Now it’s up to us and our team trying to keep this special evening going. Our prom is just like the regular prom! As big and beautiful but we also include food with ours. We try and get it catered every year, we aim to make the night an evening the kids will never forget! Proms of our size usually cost $15,000+ which has been a struggle in the past to raise. We invite every special needs child from Delaware and Grant County. This is open to every school, Hillcroft, Special Olympics, Beyond I Can, any group that is involved with the special needs or anyone that is special needs. The kids have the night of their life, it’s so special to see! It’s my favorite night! I would love to have the community get involved with this! I would love to see ours be funded every year by this community, so we never have to struggle with finding money. If you could see how these kids enjoy this night, you would be amazed. I know that if you don’t have a child with special needs or if you aren’t affected by this, it really isn’t important. It is so extremely important to these wonderful kids. They want and deserve to have a night of magic just like everyone else. This is my passion!
My name is Mindy Kemper and I have boy/girl twins that both have special needs. We were invited to our first Special Needs prom in 2015. I remember walking into the prom and being amazed at how wonderful everything was. We had no idea what to expect and it far exceeded our expectations. There was a feeling of total acceptance like we have never felt before. As a parent of two children with special needs it can be an uphill struggle with being accepted in certain situations. Every parent wants their child to experience the same things as other children, to have the same opportunities. I vividly remember a fellow prom goer coming up to our daughter and taking her hand and leading her out to the dance floor. She danced all night. The overall feeling of acceptance was heartwarming. This prom is magical, not only for these kids but for the families. This prom brings down any walls that these individuals face on a daily basis. No one person stands out in a crowd instead they are equal with their peers.I left that night excited for the next prom. I was asked several months later if I wanted to help Lynne with the prom, my reply, “Absolutely!” I was delighted that Lynne said yes. That is when the fire within began. I was on a mission to make this prom as special as possible. This required me stepping outside my comfort zone and asking for donations, which I hate. This meant many long hours crafting and painting and paying for much of it because the donations just weren’t there. As they say, the show must go on and the prom did. Every year it gets bigger and better and every year all the long hours and asking for donations disappear the minute you watch these kids have the time of their lives. This is my favorite night of the year. These kids need this night and we need to continue to make it happen!