Abilities First School Celebrates Annual Prom for Students with Special Needs

Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (June 9, 2016) – With the generous support of the Hudson Valley community, the Abilities First School hosted its third annual prom for its students with intellectual and developmental disabilities on Thursday, June 9, 2016 at the Poughkeepsie Elks Lodge #275. Students, ages 15 – 21, along with their families enjoyed a celebratory evening of dinner and dancing to mark the end of the school year. Alumni of the Abilities First School also returned for the special event, including the student whose idea to have the School’s first prom in 2014.

Prior to the Prom, through the Junior League of Poughkeepsie’s “Cinderella’s Closet” Prom Dress Drive, students were able to choose from donated gowns to wear and Luxe Salon & Spa Poughkeepsie helped the students with hair and make-up. A staff member from the Arlington Central School District offered to make clothing alterations for those attending, many of which are in wheelchairs or have other physical disabilities.

Those who have volunteered or have donated their services or products have all somehow been touched by the Abilities First mission or has had a personal connection. Weeds and Willows donated corsages and boutonnieres in memory of a staff’s family member who received services from Abilities First. Other donations have included catering services from Michael’s Restaurant in Wappingers Falls, a balloon arch from Finishing Touches, and a photo booth from Broadway Photo Booth.

Poughkeepsie Elks Lodge #275, through a grant has again generously donated the venue, the DJ and a monetary contribution. The Arlington Central School District, Beacon City School District, Marlboro Central School District, Millbrook Central School District, Poughkeepsie City School District, Wappingers Central School District, and Poughkeepsie First Student kindly provided transportation for the students.

“The prom is one of our best events. It is our third year of sponsoring. We received financial support through a grant from the Grand Lodge. We know Abilities First appreciates our involvement and the look on the students’ faces makes it a winner,” said John Kesselmark, of the Poughkeepsie Elks Lodge and Chairman of the Abilities First School Prom Committee.

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