The prom was amazing. I was able to forget for one night everything I have been through. I felt so happy and normal surrounded by so many survivors, warriors, and just people who care so much. It was an experience I will never forget. – V. Londono
Fort Lauderdale, FL (PRWEB) May 31, 2012
On Friday May 11th, 2012, A Prom to Remember hosted a special Prom Night especially for teenagers battling cancer. As contributors, the folks at Boasting BiZ also attended the event, held at the Ritz-Carlton in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. All the students’ expenses were provided free of charge, covered by the help of the event sponsors and donations. More than 200 teen cancer patients attended from eight tri-county hospitals, looking spectacular in their tuxes and gowns.
The Unforgettable Prom Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)3 organization founded by Brandon Opre, who decided he wanted to create a special memory for teenagers who are battling cancer, and to offer them an experience they typically miss out on due to their illness: prom night, the most anticipated night of high school.
This year, the teenagers were greeted by hip-hop singer Sx-Fo, members of the Miami Dolphins, Florida Panthers Ice Dancers, and pageant queens including Miss Florida USA. WSVN’s “Deco Drive” Shireen Sandoval and “VIP TV” Christine Curran were also there to interview each of the teens; Sarysz Entertainment kept everyone dancing, the guest celebrities taught the kids their favorite dance moves, and YouTube sensations Brandon & Savanna performed live for the crowd.
Opre describes the experience on their website: “The kids are treated like movie stars as they arrive in limousines, walk the red carpet, and dance the night away. Everything from tuxedoes for the boys, dresses and salon services for the girls, limousine transportation, prom photos, food, entertainment, and much more are all provided for these courageous teens.” The mission is to provide hope, strength, and inspiration to these teenagers, giving them something amazing to look forward to. It seems to succeed in that each and every year.
Fifteen-year-old Valentina Londono, a cancer patient suffering form rhabdomyosarcoma, described her happiness: “The whole prom was amazing. I was actually able to forget for one night everything I have been through. I felt so happy and normal surrounded by so many survivors, warriors, and just people who care so much. It was an experience I will never forget.”
At no cost to the kids and their families, the proms are made possible by the help and generosity of many dedicated volunteers and sponsors—several hundred individuals in total. The many partners/sponsors of A Prom to Remember in Florida include: Blue Martini, Doctor’s Choice Pharmacy, The Ritz-Carlton, Broward Health, Pepsi, Screamin’ Entertainment, Walgreens, Payless, Business Bragger, Florida Panthers, Jo S. A. Bank, Baptist Children’s Diagnostic Centers, Fringe Company, Ameriprise Financial, Zola Keller, Allstate, the Waste Foundation, Daniel Lateulade Photography, Dave and Buster’s, Taylor Rose Video Productions, Bijou Belle Photography, Blue Ribbon Bouquet, Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation, Sothys, South Beach Photobooth Company, Fraternal Order of Police, Clay Wieland Photography, Chocolate Fountains of South Florida, Boasting BiZ.
These unique proms are currently held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Cleveland, Ohio, but there are plans for expansion across the nation. For more information, visit aPromToRemember.org and their Facebook page, or contact Brandon Opre at 877-385-7766.
Quotes from event contributors:
“The Enterprise Holdings Foundation gives back and strengthens through charitable support the thousands of communities where its employees and customers work and live. Enterprise Holdings, Inc. is the parent company of the foundation, as well as Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Alamo Rent a Car, and National Car Rental.” – Enterprise Holdings, Inc.
“As Miss Florida USA 2011 I was an advocate for cancer, with my cousin’s passing this year to cancer, when A Prom to Remember approached me I immediately said Yes. This was one of the best events I have done and it brought joy to my heart to do such an amazing event.” – Lissette Garcia / Miss Florida USA 2011
“Prestige beauty brand Sothys donated products in the goodie bags to teenage girls and boys for their special night.”
- Soraya Thonier – Marketing Coordinator / Sothys USA, Inc.
“It was amazing to be able to capture these kids being kids again. The images show that during this one night, the kids left all their worries behind and focused on having fun! I hope the children and families treasure those moments and hold on to them.”
- Alex Fagundo / Soul Echo Studios
“It is such a thrill to be part of such an amazing special event. A Prom to Remember truly pulls out all the stops for these teenagers!”
- Beth M. Sadowsky – i heart Olive Oil