Each year, members of Cathedral Best Buddies partake in the Damar Academy prom, which is scheduled for April 19. Best Buddies moderator and Latin teacher Ms. Lucy Robie described that providing this event is a vital part of giving the students at Damar a genuine high school experience.
Robie said, “Damar is a school in which the kids all live on campus, (and) these (students) are predominantly wards of the court. (Best Buddies) want to give them as close to a real high school experience as they can. So therefore what they do is they hold to prom, and the kids behaviorally have to earn their way to the prom.”
Robie described that the prom is just like any other. She said, “It’s a real prom. The kids are all dressed up. They take the kids by limousine to the prom, and it’s at an actual conference center and then (Cathedral Best Buddies) go over there and what we do there is help serve food and serve drinks for the students.”
Robie also added that Cathedral students provide a big help throughout the night.
She said, “Our girls help them, they do their hair, they help do their makeup, they do their nails, and they help the girls get dressed.” Junior Alice Brennan, who attended the prom last year, described that this was one of her favorite parts of the evening. Brennan said, “It was an awesome experience to get to help all the girls get ready for a night they will always remember.”
Robie added that students get to join in on the fun. She said, “They have a DJ and our kids and everybody dances, and it’s a good time for the rest of the night.” Robie added that while students get to interact closely with the students from Damar, it is important that they distinguish who the prom is being thrown for, saying that Cathedral students are asked not to wear prom attire, so they don’t overshadow the Damar students.
Despite organized planning, this prom does not always go off without problems. Robie said, “Last year, they had an accident on the interstate, so the limousines got stuck and they had to move dinner an hour back.” However, this delay ended up being a positive thing. Robie said, “So I got up and pulled one of my kids up (on stage) and started dancing, and then when all the kids were there, everybody started dancing. When dinner was served, they couldn’t get the kids to sit down to dinner.”
Robie said, “Our students who have done it before love going because, you know, they just dance the night away with everybody else. The ones who have done it really, really love it.”