High School Prom is something kids dream about. But for young children and teens with cancer or life altering illnesses prom isn't always possible. That is why "An Evening of Believing" Prom is such an amazing night! Dreams come true! The non-profit, The Sandbox, will host the 4th Annual Prom this Friday September 19th at Founders Hall in the Bank of America Building.
Teens and young kids with cancer or other illnesses are called 'honorees'. They will come from all over North and South Carolina to enjoy an evening where they toss their hospital gowns and trade them in for evening gowns and tuxedos.
The day begins with pampering at Paul Mitchell Salon where future professional stylists will do hair and make-up and groom the young men. The honorees' dates will also get the royal treatment. Everything from their gowns to tuxes is donated so there is no expense to families already facing mounting medical costs.
After they're dressed for the event, a motorcade of limos with a police escort makes its way through Elizabeth to Aria at Founders Hall. There honorees will walk the red carpet and stop for photos by throngs of "paparazzi", family members, and the Marine Color Guard. In the backdrop are giant letters that spell BELIEVE.
The title of the prom, "An Evening of Believing", represents so much to these young men and women and their families. The Sandbox Executive Director, Mara Campolungo, says it represents a community that is committed to believing WITH them for healing and hope.
The Sandbox was founded in 2011 to bring emotional and financial help to families of children with cancer or life altering illnesses. They do this with their Love Baskets, HopeFULL Holidays and other programs that assist families as they face their child's illness.
An event like "An Evening of Believing" Prom can't happen without a team of volunteers and sponsors. "We remain steadily grateful for the generosity of our community, sponsoring businesses and an ever growing team of passionate volunteers who are working so hard to make this evening bigger and better than our wildest dreams!" Campolungo said.
As emcee for the evening I can tell you it is absolutely magical. To see beautiful young people who can forget about their health battles for a night and feel like kings or queens is remarkable. The smiles never stop, the dancing never stops and the memories last forever for these terrific kids and their families.