Thanks to a Farragut church, hundreds of special needs individuals will be enjoying their own special prom in March.
Volunteers with Farragut First Christian Church currently are busy working toward what will be its 15th year of offering Prom of the Stars, set for Saturday, March 3, in Knoxville Convention Center.
The event, which includes a full meal along with an opportunity to dance and socialize, is open to teens and adults age 16 and older with special needs, said church pastor Jason Warden, who was one of the initial volunteers who started the program in 2003.
E-mails and other queries to prospective guests and volunteers were sent out earlier this month, and reservations are required, Warden said. “We limit it to 1,200 because that is as much space as we have,” he said. “And we almost always have that maximum [number].
“We have one man who calls almost daily, asking when it will be,” Warden added. “He gets a hotel room and brings his parents and makes a whole weekend out of it.”
Warden said the largest expense is the meal. Even though Convention Center officials donate the space, they don’t donate the food, which typically requires almost the entire $20,000 annual budget.
Farragut Christian Church foots the bill for the entire project, which is among its many ministries.
The church is mindful that not all women attending will have access to formal attire, so its members have collected around 100 dresses and gowns to be borrowed.
“We have ladies who are set up here in January and February to help with the dresses, and they are able to do some tailoring, if necessary,” Warden said, adding there always is a need for larger-sized formal dresses, and donations would be welcomed.
Warden said anyone wishing to contribute may call the church, 865-966-5224, or e-mail Dena Cunningham at firstname.lastname@example.org.