LOGAN– Often the most important magical night in a young person’s life, the formal event known as “prom” is widely considered a rite of passage.
According to Time magazine, prom — short for promenade — is a special evening when girls in colorful gowns and boys in ill-fitting suits or tuxedos pose awkwardly for photos that will be cherished (or rued) for the rest of their lives.
For a special group of clients at Logan Mingo Area Mental Health (LMAMH), prom may be even more meaningful and precious. It is not only a formal dance — it is a festive and joyful evening long cherished by all who attend.
The Annual LMAMH Prom, for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), has been described as an enchanted and lavish gala of music, fun, dancing, and dining. It will be held this year on Friday July 24, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at the Special Occasions, located at 384 Yuma Road. The I/DD participants, employees of LMAMH, volunteers, and special guests will be attending.
Preparation for the event begins much earlier in the day. Whether they choose to be pampered like a princess by their own families or by the beautician and volunteers who will be on hand at the Logan facility of LMAMH, this special group of young ladies will be given the royal treatment that would rival that of Cinderella’s fairy godmother, from glamorous hairstyling, makeup, and nails, to elegant gowns, shoes, and accessories. The young gentlemen, as well, will be neatly groomed and fitted with handsome suits or sport coats, and matching shirts and ties.
Meanwhile, employees at Special Occasions will decorate with a colorful Candy Land theme, and prepare an array of delectable hors d’oeuvres, entrees, and desserts for the evening’s guests. A photographer will be making preparations as well, ready to capture the night of memories during the evening’s activities.
“I’ll have to say that, for us, this is one of our most important and enriching evenings of the year,” said Donna Cooke, CEO of LMAMH. “To see the beaming smiles — and heartwarming looks of joy and satisfaction — on the clients’ faces throughout the entire prom day and evening is just priceless.
“It really seems to mean so much to them, their families, and others who attend; and words cannot express how much it means to all of us at LMAMH, as well.”
According to Ms. Cooke, it is the local support from generous and caring residents and community-involved businesses, churches, and civic clubs—along with the entire LMAMH staff investing their own time, creative ideas and various resources over the past few months — that has all come together to make this event happen. Volunteers held numerous events like car washes, raffles, ice cream and dessert socials, hot dog sales, and other fundraising events.
“It is a night of celebration for some very special individuals, and a labor of love from many kind, bighearted people. We are just so appreciative of all who are making this a reality,” Ms. Cooke said.
The I/DD Waiver Program at LMAMH provides services that instruct, train, support, supervise, and assist individuals who have intellectual disabilities and/or developmental disabilities in achieving the highest level of independence and self-sufficiency possible in their lives. The program provides services in natural settings, homes, and communities where the members reside, work, and shop.
Individuals, organizations, or businesses that wish to make a donation toward the LMAMH Prom, or would like more information about the I/DD Waiver Program, contact Georgette Hensley at LMAMH, P.O. Box 176, Logan, WV 25601; or call 304-792-7130 for additional information. All gifts are tax deductible.