WASHINGTON - It is one of the most endearing events of the school year. The fourth annual Best Buddies Capital Region Prom took place at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in downtown Washington Friday night.
“This night is so important for Best Buddies Capital Region, which is Virginia, Washington D.C., because it's a full-on prom for our students – many of whom don't get the chance to go to a prom,” said Best Buddies Capital Region regional director Karen Glasser. “Students with and without disabilities at all of our school chapters, we have 50 across the DMV and down into southern Virginia, they come and they have a full-on prom – a DJ, food and drink, a photo booth – and they get to enjoy things that many of us who don't have disabilities take for granted.”
Best Buddies helps match up people with and without disabilities in friendship, employment and leadership development programs.
“I love seeing the young people on the dance floor,” Glasser said. “I have two sophomores in high school and I'm a parent first. And to see all of these children being together, dancing together, enjoying each other no matter what their differences or different abilities are is enormous.”
This year's event has expanded and included a separate party for adults featuring an open bar, a silent auction and tastings from restaurants and chefs around the D.C. region. Best Buddies Capital Region was hoping to raise $250,000 at the prom.
“We are hoping to raise money for our Citizens Program, which is our Adult Friendship Program, and what that is one-to-one friendships between adults with and without disabilities in the community and it allows our young people, who have aged out of the school system, whose friends have gone off to college or gone off to work, to remain a part of the community at large, to be able to do all the things that many of us who don't have disabilities take for granted.”