Nazareth students and guests dance the night away in LaGrange Park
John Croney, Erin Kelly, Eric Poulhanis and Annabelle Gofis link arms on the dance floor. Nazareth Academy students held a prom Saturday for special needs students. | Jon Langham~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 15, 2013 10:13AM
LAGRANGE PARK — Nearly 200 students enjoyed a night to remember at a prom for special needs students hosted by Nazareth Academy.
About 50 students with special needs from area high school programs were guests of honor March 9 in the school’s second annual prom, organized by members of the Nazareth’s Friends in Service and Hospitality group.
“It was totally a huge success, a great effort across the board,” said Rosemary Caragher, director of campus ministry and the group’s sponsor.
Almost 150 Nazareth students served as escorts and other volunteers for the evening.
Students solicited donations from area businesses for refreshments, corsages and boutonnieres, gift bags and raffle prizes, including White Sox tickets, she said. Shamrocks and a green runway carpet highlighted the decorations.
Members of the neighboring Congregation of St. Joseph sisters served hot dogs, chips and cookies. Students organized various games and a crafts table, where guests made picture frames for photos taken during the evening.
A Lyons Township High School student with autism spectrum disorder spoke to the Nazareth organizers beforehand to tell what it’s like to be a student with special needs.
“It was a beautiful presentation and inspired our kids,” Caragher said. “We went on to have a wonderful evening.”