After Saturday’s Post Prom ended in the wee hours of Sunday morning, and nearly 1,100 high school students and their dates returned home, cleanup quickly began inside Festival Hall.
Outside, the red carpet stayed put for the second prom of the weekend.
On Sunday evening, more than 100 other young people, along with 200 volunteers, refilled Festival Hall for A Night to Remember, a prom for people with special needs.
“That’s what’s so special about both of these proms; I think Racine really understands how special both proms are for their communities,” said Sara Luther, one of the event’s organizers.
All high school seniors, including those with special needs, are invited to the traditional promenade on Saturday. But this second event, established by Great Lakes Church in 2014, caters to people with special needs and ages 13-30.
Mike Klug has quickly developed a deep appreciation for what A Night to Remember offers. His son Kevin — who has been diagnosed with epilepsy, a brain injury and autism — went to the traditional prom twice in high school. But A Night to Remember has become a highlight of his year, every year, for the past six years, he said.
“They’re kind of on stage and feel proud of who they are and being part of the community, and that doesn’t always happen,” Klug said. “That specialness lasts longer than one night. It builds confidence and makes them feel like they’re part of the community.”