Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (May 24, 2017) – The Abilities First School hosted its fourth annual prom for its students with intellectual and developmental disabilities on Friday, May 19, 2017. While a rite of passage for many high school upperclassman, what makes this prom different from others is the strong support from family and community involvement. Students, ages 15 – 21, along with their families and fellow alumni were invited to attend the annual school event.
This prom was a success due to the generous support of the Hudson Valley community. Along with the Elks, former staff, community volunteers and the School’s Prom Committee have all come together to make the Prom special for the students. The school districts helped provide transportation to and from school to Prom. Some students were able to choose gowns and suits to wear for the special event that were donated by Elks members along with donations from the Junior League of Poughkeepsie’s “Cinderella’s Closet” Prom Dress Drive. A local event planner even donated her services by decorating the venue.
Due to a $2,000 grant from the Elks National Foundation’s Community Investments Program, the contribution to the prom from the Poughkeepsie Elks Lodge #275 has been able to grow. The Elks’ contributions were able to provide the venue, decoration, food, photo booth, a DJ, and more.
Poughkeepsie Elks Lodge #275 Secretary Raymond Strohm said, “The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks is strongly committed to our communities. This Abilities First Prom is part of our Community Investments Program. The national organization spends millions of dollars each year to address specific needs of our communities. We are proud to be supporting the Abilities First Prom for a fourth year in a row. Elks. Care, Elks Share.”