- This event has passed.
Junior Prom – St. Louis
February 7, 2014
By: Jen Cooper
The Kemp Auto Museum had the tables set, covered in bright linens and beautiful balloon arrangements. Food and beverage stations were lined up, ready to serve. It looked as if it was ready to receive our annual influx of prom-goers, 16 and older. However, on Friday, February 7th, 2014, there was a new group of attendees eagerly awaiting their first prom experience…more specifically, their first Junior Prom.
The Pujols Family Foundation launched their first Junior Prom, for children with Down syndrome, ages 7-15. All came accompanied by a parent or family member as their special date. After years of all the older kids and adults having all the fun, it was now their turn. As the over 200 attendees made their way into the Kemp Auto Museum in Chesterfield, Missouri, they were directed to make their entrance into the event through a path surrounded by colorful balloons that set the tone for a fun and exciting evening. Attendees were then greeted by PFF volunteers who guided and explained what to expect for the night. While some quickly approached the tables to secure a seat, others made their way over to the photo booth donated by 2 Chics and a Photo Booth. There was a whole table of props to choose from that allowed our guests to capture fun and silly images that would serve as a keepsake of their night.
There were also a variety of food and dessert stations set up, ready to provide delicious offerings. With so many options ranging from TGI Fridays pulled pork sandwiches and homemade chips to Chick-fil-A nuggets to Papa Johns pizza and many more, people were spotted returning to the lines over and over again.
Pujols Family Foundation Executive Director Todd Perry and Former Major League Baseball All-Star Jim Edmonds welcomed the crowd. While music was playing in the background during dinner, the party really started when Radio Disney began leading group dances while sprinkling in some games that rewarded winners with special Disney prizes. A highlight of the evening was when there were two songs set aside for Mother/Son and Father/Daughter dances. As the night continued on, some of the families enjoyed sweet treats provided by Cold Stone Creamery, McAlister’s Deli and Vincent Van Doughnut. Balloon creations also were abundant throughout the room. Way Cool Balloons artfully created balloons shaped as butterfly wings, aliens, outrageous hats and many others.
Not only did the Junior Prom offer our guests a fun and memorable evening but it also created an opportunity to form new friendships. Many parents also commented on their excitement for the opportunity to share this special night with their child. As the night drew to a close, parents were already asking if this event would return next year. With such a positive response, the future looks bright for another Junior Prom.
We would like to extend a special thank you to Radio Disney, the Kemp Auto Museum, Chick-fil-A, Chipotle, Cold Stone Creamery, McAlister’s Deli, Papa John’s Pizza, TGI Fridays, Vincent Van Doughnut, 2 Chics and a Photo Booth, Way Cool Balloons, Lori Mattler Photography, Karl Lund Photography and all of our wonderful volunteers.