Prom night for people with disabilities, community helps make dreams come true

Posted at 1:44 PM, Apr 19, 2015
and last updated 2015-04-19 13:44:51-04

SPARTA, Mich. - Ten years ago, Rhonda Carlisle's autistic child changed history for the town of Sparta and people with special needs.

"My son Tom is autistic and he looked at me and he said, 'How come I can't have a prom. What's wrong with me?'" said Carlisle.

So, with the help of friends and members of the community, Carlisle hosted the first Best Prom Ever in 2005 with only fifteen kids attending.

Ten years later, more than 900 people with disabilities came out to Sparta High School Saturday evening for a night they'll never forget.

The prom included a free dinner, live entertainment, formal pictures and photo booths, even a chance to ride in a limo.

Renee Wyman, a teacher for students with special needs, believes prom night is something every student deserves to experience.

"They are right out there on that dance floor living the music," said Wyman. "If you can see that, it will change your life forever and you'll want to volunteer next year."