Prom season has arrived, and the J. Arthur Trudeau Memorial Center is preparing to hold their third annual prom, moving it from their recreation center to a venue for the first time in an effort to give teens with special needs an even more typical prom experience.
This year’s prom will be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Warwick on May 9 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. The event is open to all high school-aged kids from across the state ages 16 to 21. The annual event features all of the traditional aspects of a high school prom, including a full dinner, dessert, professional photographer (photo packages will be available) and dancing. This year’s event will also feature a photo booth that the attendees will be able to use throughout the night. Attire is semi-formal, and tickets are $25 per person.
Adam Johnson, Children’s Recreation Coordinator at Trudeau, said the prom is one of the most anticipated events put on by the center, just like it is in high schools across the state.
“It’s like every other kid their age. You talk about prom all year long. You get your dress months in advanced,” said Johnson.
The idea of this event is to give kids in the Trudeau program and others the opportunity to attend a prom.
“The idea is to give these kids the full prom experience,” said Johnson.
For the past two years, the prom has been held at the Larkin Recreation Building behind Trudeau’s main building. But with the prom growing in popularity, the committee behind the event decided it was time for a change.
“Proms at high schools are usually in ballrooms. Our kids deserve that as well,” said Johnson. “Each year we try to one-up ourselves.”
Last year’s prom had about 70 attendees, and this year Johnson said they have enough room for 110.
Johnson said setting up the event with the Crowne Plaza has been “an easy move,” and with help from the event coordinators at the venue some of the stress has been taken off Trudeau staff.
“By having it over there, they have volunteered their time. They’re helping us out with decorations and table set-up,” he said.
But the goal of the event remains to create a fun and memorable evening for the kids, making sure they are having a good time with friends or even making new ones.
“For our children, this is what they look forward to,” said Johnson.
Those interested in attending are asked to call Johnson or Children’s Recreation Assistant Ashley Bodington at 739-2700. The Center needs to be made aware of any medical assistance attendees might need, and a spot can be reserved. Attendees must also fill out and send in a registration sheet available on www.trudeaucenter.org. Registration will be accepted until there are no more spots available.
“As long as we know they want to come we can reserve their spot,” said Johnson.
The Trudeau Center thanks The Bentley Foundation and BankRI for their sponsorship of this event.