CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - An Evening of Believing Prom was held on schedule Friday night in spite of a last-minute change of venue, with hundreds in attendance to celebrate The Sandbox honorees and give them a night they'll never forget!
The prom is held every year for kids and young adults with cancer or other life-altering illnesses to give them a chance to experience the magic of prom night!
The event is usually held at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, but in an effort to have no possible interruptions, The Sandbox decided to move the event out of uptown Charlotte to Embassy Suites in Concord. Moving an event of this magnitude in a matter of days is no easy task, but the Co-Founder and Executive Director of The Sandbox says she knew the community would help them pull it off!
"We had such incredible support from the community, our volunteers, our partners, and law enforcement. It was another way they showed us that we are incredibly loved, supported and 'believed in', no matter what the venue," said Mara Campolungo.
The prom is a pure magic! Over one hundred kids and young adults got a chance to forget about their diagnosis and just be free to dance the night away!
The evening kicks off with lots of primping, they want everyone to look and feel spectacular! Thanks to Aveda and Paul Mitchell the School, honorees had their hair and make-up done. The young men even were ALSO groomed!
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After they all got their gowns and tuxedos on, they hopped in their limos and took a lap around Charlotte Motor Speedway with police and motorcycle escorts. They arrived to almost 700 volunteers who were also THE 'paparazzi' taking pictures and cheering them on!
They were escorted with by their teen volunteer mentors down the red carpet as DJ's from Audio to Go made sure their arrival kicked off the mood of the night, PURE FUN!
"We were blown away by the incredible amount of people who made it to Concord to just cheer on our honorees. We had somewhere between six hundred and fifty and seven hundred volunteers there to remind rock stars that they are surrounded by love, and encouragement. As we like to say, they knew, We Believe," Mara told me.
I count the prom as one of my favorite events of the year. I've been so honored year after year to see the smiles on the honorees' faces and on the joy I know their parents feel. It's unforgettable.
The evening ends with the moving Remembrance Ceremony. Families release balloons for all those we've lost over the past year.
To everyone who came out to cheer them on, I want to thank you personally for really giving these kids a night they will never forget!