HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Volunteer Hattiesburg and United Way Southeast Mississippi hosted a 'Night in the Spotlight' prom for ARC Southeast Mississippi Monday night.
Guests received the movie star treatment with convertible rides, red carpet introductions, hair and makeup services, photo opportunities, and a night of dancing.
ARC's Executive Director, Cindy Pennington said, "It's prom time, they love music, they love to dance, and they obviously love to get dressed up, and you know they're beautiful on the inside and outside."
The participants were excited to receive the A-list treatment of its first annual prom event.
Denise Ervine said, "I'm excited to be in the car, wave at people, and dancing and singing. It's my first night being at prom." Regina Young added, "There's a lot of people here, and a lot of people get to fellowship and dance, and have a good time, I love to dance."
One father, Charlie Breithaupt, was honored to be his daughter Leigh's prom date and even had the opportunity to walk her down the red carpet.
Breithaupt said he felt, "I mean like a proud dad, you know she is my girl, I am excited for her, and for all these kids, I just couldn't be any happier."
Two mothers Gina Arnold, and Bridgitte Ishee said the event made a positive impact on their children.
Arnold said, "I think they are made to feel so different, and even when they participate in stuff with normal kids, they're still outsiders, this is just for them, and it makes them feel like they belong."
Ishee added, "Its important for us parents because these are opportunities that we can't give them without a support like this."
The event was made possible with the overall combined efforts of over 70 local organizations.
Volunteer Hattiesburg and United Way of Southeast Mississippi hope to make prom an annual event.