Special needs individuals got to dance the night away after two years of waiting
Together with the D’Youville University occupational therapy department, Fantastic Friends of WNY hosted a long-awaited special needs prom last Friday at the Southline Firehall in Cheektowaga.
A press release stated, “Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the prom was canceled the past two years, leaving many individuals disappointed in 2020 and 2021. Organizers were determined to make this year’s prom the best yet!”
Fantastic Friends founder Debbie Cordone said, “After two long years, attendees truly deserve to have an incredible night with their peers. We hosted our first prom in 2019, and it was devastating to deal with a two-year hiatus. This year, we were thrilled to return, and we thank the community for their ongoing support.”
The prom allows special needs individuals to experience a night of dancing and enjoyment with their peers. Attendees had fun with friends, a DJ, photo booth, special lighting, a red carpet, crowns, gift bags, ice cream bar, candy bar, food, additional desserts, beverages, corsages and boutonnieres, and an escort for the evening.
Special community guests included Assembly member Monica Wallace and members of the Cheektowaga Police Department.
In recent years, Fantastic Friends has increased programming and expanded its special needs center located on French Road in Cheektowaga. Cordone has worked throughout the pandemic to find unique ways to provide services to those in need.
Fantastic Friends of WNY is a volunteer-driven organization for special needs individuals of all ages whose mission statement is to provide a safe, comfortable environment for individuals with developmental and/or intellectual disabilities of all ages.
“A place of acceptance and understanding without judgement,” is how Cordone describes it.