“Joy Prom” Makes Sure Teens With Disabilities Don’t Miss Out

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 8, 2014   |   3:08PM   |   Memphis, TN

In this day and age, teenagers face enough problems with bullying in schools and from their peers. For disabled people with physical or mental handicaps, the teasing can be worse.

joypromTo make sure they were able to celebrate their own prom in a safe environment with people who care, a couple in a Memphis, Tennessee church came up with a special idea.

Ashley Parks and Ginna Rauls came up with the idea for the event a year ago. The couple, in their 60s, have said they are already planning for next year after more than 100 people showed up for their first-ever event. The Memphis Joy Prom saw a total of 110 people of all ages gather for the spectacular event and more than 350 volunteers help out.

The London Daily Mail has more, including pictures:

People came from across the area to attend the party – including a couple with disabilities who were in their 60s.

joyprom2Ms Parks, special needs ministry director at Christ United Methodist Church, told ABCNews.com: ‘This was our first one, and it was unbelievable.’

Guests arrived in limos before making their way down the red carpet.

They were then greeted by Rick Trotter, announcer for the Memphis Grizzlies basketball team.

The event was sponsored by a group of local churches with tuxedos and dresses provided through donations.

Ms Parks told The Huffington Post: ‘At a certain point people phase out of things but we said, you know what, let’s open this up for people over the age of 22 and think of those who may not have experienced an event like this before.