Alan gave a mischievous look at the girl sitting across the table from him.
“Bridget Brown is not affiliated with Brown’s Chicken,” he said. “Just to clear that up.”
“Alan!” replied Bridget laughing and rolling her eyes at her former Hinsdale South classmate.
The old friends playfully teased each other, but soon the music was calling. It was a night, after all, not just for celebrating friendship but also for dancing.
Bridget, Alan and about 45 other teens and adults partied the night away Saturday at during SEASPAR’s annual prom.
The parks and recreation organization for people with special needs began hosting the prom about 10 years ago as a way for its members to celebrate their friendships during one festive evening, SEASPAR recreation specialist Kim Huggins said.
“They really look forward to being with their friends and dressing up to look pretty for a night,” she said.
This was the first year SEASPAR’s EAGLES participants planned the whole evening, from the catered dinner to the blue, white and silver decorations. (EAGLES is a program for young adults as they transition from high school to adulthood.)
“The really neat part is that they planned it for all their friends,” said SEASPAR Executive Director Susan Friend.
Saturday’s prom was EAGLES participant Sarah’s second. This year she served on the decorating committee.
“It’s going to be awesome tonight,” she said while getting her hair done at SEASPAR’s Downers Grove facility Saturday afternoon. “We decorated the room yesterday, and it took forever."
No stranger to proms, Sarah said SEASPAR’s party is more fun than her high school’s prom.
Other revelers were just as excited.
SEASPAR staff member Dayell Muchowicz said that EAGLES participant Kim ran for the bus when it arrived to pick her up for the afternoon Preening Program, during which prom-goers got manicures and had their hair and makeup done.
“She made a mad dash for the van and said, ‘See you later, Mom!’” Muchowicz said.
Kim had good reason to be excited. Later that evening, SEASPAR crowned her prom queen after her name was pulled from a hat.
“I was shocked!” she said.
While the crowning was a clear high point for Kim and her king, Nathan, others found it hard to pick the best part.
“I don’t have a favorite thing,” Bridget said. “I like them all.”
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