Variety club hosts end of summer camp prom for children with special needs

A variety club hosted an end of summer camp prom for children with special needs Wednesday.

Dancing and meeting new people," is what 13-year-old Daisy Becker says she's looking forward to tonight. It's a different kind of atmosphere than usual for kids at the Variety Club Camp and Development Center in Worcester. They cleaned up from a hot day of summer camp to get glitzed, glammed and ready for prom night.

"We went to the hair salon and then we got our dresses," said Daisy. She and her friend Bella are two of more than 60 children with disabilities or other special needs who got pampered this evening to take pictures, mingle during an hour of hors d'oeuvres and then have dinner.

"I'm excited about hanging out with everyone including my mom and everyone else," said 21-year old Eric Salom says he knew tonight was big when he got to put what he says is a special flower.

"This goes on like a suit to dress up for like prom. It's like a carnation but it's more than a carnation. It's a special flower. It makes people dress really casual and fancy," said Eric who is also excited because the prom has a Wild West theme.

"I wear a big 10-gallon cowboy hat like this on my head up here," he said. After dinner though it was party time. They dimmed the lights for a deejay and formed a conga line. Variety Club officials work hard to make sure it's a night these children won't forget. It's emotional for the workers and volunteers.

"Elation. You look on their faces and particularly some of the kids that you know are a little quieter or by the sidelines. This prom seems to bring out the party animal in everyone and they all somehow understand what a special occasion this is," said Mary Fuller.

Acme was the main sponsor for food, flowers, decorations and pictures. Hair, makeup and a limo for the kids crowned Prom King and Queen were also donated.