Kevin’s First Prom
Written by Will Friesen, Kevin’s caregiver
Kevin had never attended the CCRI prom before. Partially due to it not being of interest to him and partially because prom is crowded and crowds aren’t always Kevin’s thing.
This year, his caregivers started talking about prom with him—about what he would wear, eat, and what the night’s schedule would look like. He wasn’t opposed to it but when Cathy asked him to be her date, Kevin decided this year was his year.
Kevin made an appointment at the CCRI Boutique to get his suit. He picked out his dream outfit, said he looked “So Good” in it, and braced himself for a night of bravery and romance.
The evening of prom, Kevin had no hesitation, he donned his suit and jacket independently, coming out of his room looking dapper as ever. Kevin was ready to rock that prom. One of his favorite caregivers, Hayley, even stopped over on her day off, just to take a peek at how wonderful Kevin looked.
When Kevin arrived in the entry way of the Prom, the room was packed with people dressed in every color imaginable, laughing, shuffling, squealing and parading. Kevin took it all in and performed wonderfully, taking pictures, saying hi to old friends and posing with lots of smiles.
When Kevin needed a little space, it was the perfect opportunity to review some of the pictures he had taken. After a short break he was ready to go back and mingle.
When Kevin found his date, Cathy, she surprised him with a balloon and promptly held his arm. He proudly tucked the little balloon in his pocket and wore it the rest of the night. The two stood close to each other, Kevin smiling and rubbing his hair and Cathy proudly showing off her date and being her bouncy self. The two picked out matching flower corsages and prepared for the grand march.
Possibly the most adorable part of the night was when the two marched down the aisle together. They came down to the cheers of their peers, arm in arm and grinning ear to ear. The excitement in the room was intoxicating. At the end of the march Tyler Kloster, who has worked with Kevin for over a decade was waiting. The two embraced, both happier to have the other one there. Then, returning to Cathy, the most surprising thing happened. With no prompting from anyone, Kevin leaned over and planted a kiss right on Cathy’s cheek!
The crowd went wild. She was so surprised, and delighted! He gave her one more kiss for the camera and then the two moved on past the paparazzi. It was adorable.
The night was full of long visits with dear friends, a lovely dinner, dancing and a ride together in a very fancy yellow classic car with Kev riding in the front seat. He seemed to enjoy himself immensely riding around in such style.
The two danced together, bobbing heads and singing along (just a little bit). They danced with friends and caregivers. Through slow and fast songs, Cathy led him confidently through the crowd and showed him how to dance. It was like watching two old friends embracing their desire to be alive.
Kevin left the Prom with many new memories and that same smile he’d been holding all night. I have never seen him so happy, so alive. That night truly encompassed the mission of CCRI.
The night wouldn’t be possible without the generosity from our community. Donations provided the venue, the formal wear, flower corsages, cupcakes, photography, decorations, etc! It is a prom put on by the community. We are so grateful .