The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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April 1, 2014

Enchanted evening for special students | Mother driving force for Our Fairytale Prom

JOHNSTOWN — High school proms are the social events for high school students. It’s a time for boys and girls to dress up and step out in the finest attire available. It’s a time to party with their friends and classmates.

And it should be an occasion in which all high school students can partake.

However, Charles Boyer, a Ferndale Area High School student who attends Vo-Tech Life Skills Program, is unable to participate in his school’s festivities because he is physically challenged. Charles, who is considered to be legally blind and has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and epilepsy, wanted to party. So his mother decided to take matters into her own hands.

“There are a lot of kids out there who can’t go to prom because of special needs, so we decided to throw Charles his own prom and invite family and friends,” Carrie Boyer, Charles’ mom, told our Kelly Urban for a story in Monday’s editions.

But then Boyer got to thinking about other students who, because of special needs, are unable to attend their prom. So she expanded the parameters of Charles’ party and decided to invite other disabled youths.

And she took to social media to get the word out.

Soon, she had another 20 individuals who committed to attend after hearing about the soiree on Facebook.

“We have kids coming from Bedford, Altoona, Somerset and Westmoreland County,” Carrie said.

In our opinion, Charles has an amazing mother who will not allow a physical handicap to get in the way of her son’s happiness.

The Our Fairytale Prom will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. May 31 at Our Sons’ Banquet and Catering, 229 Main St. in downtown Johnstown. It will be just like any other prom, with music, decorations, dinner and pictures.

“We’re going all out and making it big,” Boyer said.

And because of the nature of the evening, an abundance of chaperones and a registered nurse will be on hand to make sure everything comes off smoothly.

The Cinderella Project quickly jumped on board, offering prom fineries to any girl interested. They can be fitted for a dress by visiting the YWCA Greater Johnstown.

Boyer said the prom is entirely donation driven, and she is hoping people come forward to help their girls with their hair, nails and makeup. Also, she said help with catering and transportation are needed.

“We just want these kids to have a wonderful prom experience,” she said.

Boyer wants to make the event an annual happening and she hopes that more youths will get involved.

Kudos to Carrie Boyer for seeing an obvious need in the community and working to fill it.

We, too, hope that the prom will become an annual event and that more individuals and businesses get behind her initiative.

Soiree

What: Our Fairytale Prom for special needs students.

When: 6 to 10 p.m. May 31 at Our Sons’ Banquet and Catering, 229 Main St., Johnstown.

Cost: $10 per person.

Information: Email myspecialprom@yahoo.com.

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