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Nashville Autumn Prom
November 9, 2013
By Carolyn Naifeh & Emily DuBois
On Saturday, November 9th, 2013 the Pujols Family Foundation in partnership with the Down Syndrome Association of Middle Tennessee hosted over 250 people at the third annual Autumn Prom at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville to provide a glamorous evening of dancing to celebrate our friends with Down syndrome.
The Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center opened up the Tennessee Ballroom at the luxurious Opryland Hotel, the venue of choice for many of the most posh proms, weddings, and receptions in Nashville. The Opryland also provided an extensive buffet of some of the most cherished Americana food, which was a tremendous hit among attendees and their guests.
As the stars of the evening approached the ballroom, each person with Down syndrome walked down a plush red carpet surrounded by cheerful friends and volunteers from Young Life. Each couple displayed their glamour and glee as they strutted down the carpet into the ballroom with confidence. And all the single ladies and gents were thrilled to take advantage of the handsome Trevecca and Lipscomb baseball players, and the stunning Tennessee Titans cheerleaders who were available to escort guests into the prom. In addition, Bruce Matthews, NFL Hall of Famer and offensive line coach for the Tennessee Titans greeted every guest walking the red carpet and posed for many photos with our special friends.
Upon entering the prom, one could not miss the beautiful centerpieces designed by Branching Out Floral & Event Design enhanced by the ornate, traditional surroundings of the Tennessee Ballroom. This ballroom was ready to rock, however, as The South Street Players, led by Jim Roberts, took to the stage. The South Street Players played everything from the classics to more contemporary songs, keeping the music upbeat, the crowd lively, and the guests dancing enthusiastically. Even the athletes in the room had to take a break to keep up with the energy and nonstop movement of our attendees!
As 10 PM quickly approached, guests hurried to get in a few more dances with their dates, and snap some silly shots in the photo booth to take home. No one was ready to leave as the band wrapped up their final song and the lights brightened. Friends and dates exchanged hugs and goodbyes, filled with joy, excitement, and bittersweet hearts as they took in all the excitement of the evening and began to look forward to next year’s prom!
The Pujols Family Foundation would like to thank the following sponsors for their generous contributions to the Nashville Autumn Prom: The Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, Down Syndrome Association of Middle Tennessee, Young Life, Trevecca Baseball, Lipscomb Baseball, the Tennessee Titans Cheerleaders, Bruce Matthews, Branching Out Floral & Design, Global Non Generic, Shane Alexander, Courtney Young, Heidi Williams, Jill Kaplan, The South Street Players, the Nashville Advisory Board and all of our wonderful volunteers!