On Friday, April 24, Grace Fellowship Church hosted its fifth annual Joy Prom, a free spring event for individuals with special needs and their families. This year’s event drew nearly 1,000 guests and their families and required nearly 300 volunteers. For the past two years, Joy Prom has been sponsored by Angels in Disguise, the charitable arm of Little Caesar’s, which donated $7,000 to the 2015 event. The community support did not stop there, however. Many other local partners donated refreshments, boutonnieres, services, and much more each year.
Joy Prom guests began their magical evening with a roaring welcome on the red carpet, where hundreds of energetic “paparazzi” got the party started by cheering for each and every guest, who is announced by name. The guests can then enjoyed a variety of activities all night long, including horse-and-carriage rides, carnival games, pamper stations (where ladies could get a manicure and gentlemen could have their shoes shined), photo booths, desserts and beverages, and of course, lots of dancing.
“The flashes popped. The crowd cheered. The princess smiled. She buried her head in her arms, closed her eyes, and began to shine…” said Elizabeth Hunter, mother of Joy Prom guest Savannah. “Each year brings Savannah something new…. It gives her the opportunity to dress up and be noticeably gorgeous instead of noticeably disabled.”
Joy Prom is a ministry of Grace Fellowship Church, which hosts the event as a way to celebrate every person who is made in the image of God. “This is our way of being able to lift people up and said ‘Hey, we love you,’ Jesus loves you, and we know just how special you are,” says Becca Foxx, GFC Special Needs Ministry Coordinator.
GFC also offers Access, a special needs ministry that meets every Sunday morning during both services. For more information, visit www.gfcnow.com/access.