Teens With Disabilities Sparkle at Special Prom

PHOTO: An attendee smiles for the "paparazzi" at the Memphis Joy Prom.
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Prom season is in full swing. And as limos are rented and dresses are altered, teens with disabilities want to be included, too.

So a group of Memphis, Tenn., churches arranged a black tie bash called the Memphis Joy Prom, complete with a red carpet, a makeup station, limos and tiaras for everyone. They had a prom dress donation drive in March, and a church member offered to cover tuxedo rentals from Men’s Warehouse, so the 110 attendees didn’t have to spend a dime.

“This was our first one, and it was unbelievable,” organizer Ashley Parks told ABCNews.com.

PHOTO: At the Memphis Joy Prom, all the girls got tiaras.
Courtesy Memphis Joy Prom
PHOTO: At the Memphis Joy Prom, all the girls got tiaras.

Parks said one parent sent a heartfelt note thanking her for loving her children “as much as God loves them.”

“We all cried over it,” she said. “It was one of many.”

PHOTO: Promgoers put their hands in the air at a free prom just for them.
Courtesy Memphis Joy Prom
PHOTO: Promgoers put their hands in the air at a free prom just for them.

But what made the Joy Prom different was that it allowed people 16 and up to attend. She said a couple with disabilities in their 60s went to Joy Prom because they never got to go to one when they were in high school.

About 350 volunteers helped pull off the event -- including Rick Trotter, the announcer for the Memphis Grizzlies basketball team. Trotter announced every prom attendee’s name as they walked down the red carpet.

PHOTO: Attendees bust a move on the dance floor of a prom for people with disabilities.
Courtesy Memphis Joy Prom
PHOTO: Attendees bust a move on the dance floor of a prom for people with disabilities.

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