When my boss told me I would be attending this years ‘A Prom to Remember’ gala, I was extremely excited. I’ve been hearing about it from him since last years event and how touching the experience was. I immediately took out my best suit and started touching up on my 90s dance moves.
When I arrived at the Ritz Carlton on May 10th, 2013, I didn’t know what to expect. The organizers and volunteers welcomed me with a smile and a Lei (Hawaiian flower necklace) and told me the guests of honor would be arriving shortly. As I waited I noticed how beautifully it was all decorated with a Hawaiian Luau theme and a beautiful red carpet leading into the ballroom.
Once I began seeing all the kids arrive, I was in awe. The girls looked glamorous with their dresses and the boys handsome with their suits. You can see the surprise in their faces when they realized who was waiting to escort them down the red carpet. The lucky ladies walked the red carpet with players from the Miami Dolphins and the boys walked down with cheerleaders from the Miami Heat, Miami Marlins & Florida Panthers. To make it more special, an army of photographers and news anchors interviewed them and took hundreds of pictures making them feel like true celebrities. I won’t lie, I was a little jealous this was way better than my prom.
Everything was ready for the party. The music was loud, the food smelled great, the dance floor was jumping. As the celebration went by I could tell, volunteers, guests, organizers, media, sports figures and even some waiters were having a lot of fun.
When I spoke to Brandon Opre, Founder/President of The Unforgettable Prom Foundation/A Prom To Remember. He was so happy on how the night was turning out. “Because of the generosity of many individuals, corporations and foundations we are able to bring unbridled joy to these amazing kids! The experience tonight for the kids, and all of us involved, is priceless!”
I was proud to be part of an event and organization that offers these children, even if it’s for one day, an increase in quality of life. I know from seeing them smiling, dancing and laughing they had forgotten about their problems and had a night they will never forget. All made possible by the sponsors and volunteers from South Florida.
Read more about who contributed and attended the event.
Most of us remember our prom as a life milestone. The only thing we had to worry about the next day was final exams, college applications, and summer jobs. Some of those kids won’t make it to next year’s prom or their own prom. I was reminded of how many teens with cancer miss their proms because they are in hospitals getting treatments that make their hair fall out or weakens them. All this made me realize my situation isn’t all that bad in the grand scheme of things.
It was a bittersweet experience that I will treasure forever. I can’t wait for next year. I have to admit my 90’s moves did not compare to the moves those kids had that night, but I will practice.
About the Author – Miguel Mendez is a Miami based author and journalist for Boasting BiZ. Better know in South Florida as an online marketing erudite, avid Blogger and one heck of a guy.