A PROM TO REMEMBER: RECAP

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A PROM TO REMEMBER: RECAP

Two prom attendees carefully pick out a corsage to match their bejeweled gowns before they walked the red carpet. “I met and talked to so many patients,” communications junior Sasha Monaco said. “They inspired me so much with their resilience and their positive attitudes.”

Two prom attendees carefully pick out a corsage to match their bejeweled gowns before they walked the red carpet. “I met and talked to so many patients,” communications junior Sasha Monaco said. “They inspired me so much with their resilience and their positive attitudes.”

Photo courtesy of APTR

Two prom attendees carefully pick out a corsage to match their bejeweled gowns before they walked the red carpet. “I met and talked to so many patients,” communications junior Sasha Monaco said. “They inspired me so much with their resilience and their positive attitudes.”

Photo courtesy of APTR

Photo courtesy of APTR

Two prom attendees carefully pick out a corsage to match their bejeweled gowns before they walked the red carpet. “I met and talked to so many patients,” communications junior Sasha Monaco said. “They inspired me so much with their resilience and their positive attitudes.”

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Prom night. It’s the one evening that rounds off all of the memories from freshman to senior year. From dancing with friends to taking pictures in lavish gowns and tuxedos, prom is meant to be one of the most memorable nights of a person’s life.

However, many young cancer patients are unable to share in this experience. For this reason, A Prom to Remember (APTR) has sought to make prom a possibility for students affected by cancer. Each year, APTR fundraises to host a special prom for cancer patients, with the help of student volunteers and student-sponsored events. On May 10, Dreyfoos’ chapter of APTR volunteered at the prom at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Fort Lauderdale.

“The main purpose of APTR is to throw a prom at the end of the year for teenagers and children who have been affected by cancer. Kids of all different ages attend the prom. Some kids are seven years old, and some are 19,” APTR Co-President and communications junior Sasha Monaco said. “There were six hospitals present at prom this year, and the APTR board worked hard to make sure that makeup artists were sent to the hospitals the day of prom to help the kids get ready. Before prom, the kids were able to go to Macy’s and pick up prom dresses, free of expenses.”

Students and parents were able to watch the kids’ entrance as they were accompanied by friends and relatives down the red carpet. The Miss Florida and Miss Martin County pageant winners, as well as the Miami Dolphins football team, made appearances and escorted several students into the building.

Photo courtesy of APTR
Four girls pose outside of the Ritz-Carlton hotel prior to entering the prom. “The APTR board worked hard to make sure that makeup artists were sent to the hospitals the day of prom to help the kids get ready,” Monaco said. “Before prom, the kids were able to go to Macy’s and pick up prom dresses free of expenses.”

In order to contribute to the event, APTR hosted many fundraisers throughout the year, including Valentine’s Day Singing Telegrams and the Mr. Dreyfoos Pageant. Members were able to raise over $2,800.

“We work with the APTR board throughout the year, which is a group of adults who collect sponsors, organize decorations for the event, and basically put the prom altogether,” Monaco said. “On our end, our goal is to raise as much money as we can so that we can make the prom even better.”

It’s always amazing and inspiring to see the kids having a great time, but it becomes apparent at the prom that a lot of these kids don’t live their lives like we do. Some of them will never be able to attend their own proms at school, which is why everyone involved in APTR works so hard to make each year’s prom memorable and exciting.”

— Sasha Monaco

Alongside the kids, students who were a part of APTR, such as Vice President of APTR and communications senior Sydney Greenspan, thought being at the prom was “one of the greatest rewards.”

“Throughout the year, we don’t interact with the kids from the hospitals, so getting to see them at the end of the year is always a really big treat for us,” Monaco said. “Dancing with the kids at prom gives them a break from stressing about chemotherapy and hospital treatments. It’s one night where they get to feel like they aren’t affected by cancer.”

Photo courtesy of APTR
Miss Martin County made an appearance at the event and escorted several prom attendees down the red carpet. “It’s always amazing and inspiring to see the kids having a great time,” Monaco said. “It becomes apparent at the prom that a lot of these kids don’t live their lives like we do.” Members of Dreyfoos’ APTR cheered on the children in Fort Lauderdale as they walked down their own red carpet.

The prom was not only an event that changed the lives of the cancer patients attending, but also the lives of the students, board members, and others involved in organizing and supporting the event. Monaco has been involved in APTR and been able to help out with the prom for three consecutive years now.

“I remember every face that I meet each year, and I look forward to seeing the same faces in the upcoming years,” Monaco said. “The kids are so thankful for all the work that we’ve done, and I will never forget the pure joy that I felt while dancing with the most brave and resilient kids.”

Despite all of the hard work and effort put in throughout the year, the event truly served its purpose as a prom to remember.

“After prom, I feel tired, my back hurts, my feet hurt, but I always have the biggest smile on my face,” Greenspan said. “The end of the night is always a very bittersweet moment because the kids get dismissed hospital by hospital and it just kind of puts everyone back into [the] reality that this is what we’re fighting for and this is what we’re working so hard for.”

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