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Stars in Hills prom shines
Event organized by Porterville Breakfast Rotary
It was a day full of expectation and excitement for developmentally disabled Porterville students from Porterville, Monache, Granite Hills, and L.B. Hill high schools and the Porterville Adult School who attended the ninth annual Stars in the Hills prom Saturday evening at Granite Hills High School.
Irma Flores, attending the event with her mother, and sister said, “This is a wonderful event. My sister goes to Granite Hills, and she is having a great time. She hardly sat down and is enjoying the prom. She enjoyed the limo experience and is having so much fun.”
All of the students looked like “stars” for the evening, especially after being pampered at Salon Sassafyde.
Stylists provided hairdressing and manicures for the young women and haircuts for the young men, with many of the young women having their nails done to match their dresses.
The students arrived at the prom via four limousines and were met by Dr. Massey Missakian. Families and friends gathered around, taking pictures and congratulating the students.
Young women wearing dresses in shades of white, pink, plum and peach created a rainbow of spring colors, interspersed with gowns of navy, gold and black. There were quite a few white tuxedos among the young men, reminiscent of John Travolta in “Saturday Night Fever,” with the majority wearing black.
Steve Carney, a teacher from L.B. Hill said, “This is a big deal, and the students look forward to the prom and they talk about it afterward.”
A welcoming committee of GHHS Interact Club, ASB and Pivot Club students in evening dresses gave the arriving prom attendees corsages before they entered a cafeteria transformed with an imaginative theme of “Undersea Treasure.”
A walkway lined with coral and blue balloon arches led guests into a room with multi-color iridescent balloons of fish, dolphins and lobsters. Music filled the room with sound and a beat dancers found hard to resist.
DJs Tee Towne and Pete Martinez played high-energy rock music from artists like Michael Jackson, Gloria Estefan, the Bee Gee’s, the Village People and many others.
Janice Castle of the Porterville Breakfast Rotary Club was in charge of the prom, and said she brought the prom idea to the club nine years ago, because the “special needs” kids never had the opportunity to attend a prom.
Castle said these students are delighted to attend the prom and look forward to enjoying themselves in a safe environment where they are surrounded by friends and family, and can let their guard down a bit.
“One of the most important items for the prom,” said Castle, “are the dresses and tuxedos for the young men and women. We make sure they get to pick the color and style of everything.”
Local businesses and the Porterville Breakfast Rotary pay for all the costs.
“This is the best Stars of the Hills prom of our nine year run,” said Jim Perrine. “I’m proud to be the president of the Porterville Breakfast Rotary Club.”
Perrine said the Interact Club and clubs from the other high schools “have done a wonderful job decorating and planning for the event. We are grateful to all the businesses donating and assisting with the prom.”
Toward the middle of the evening, the crowning of the 2013 Stars in the Hills King, Queen, Prince and Princess, were announced by Castle:
- Princess: Misty Lopez
- Prince: Xeem Xiong
- Queen: Melissa Rodriquez
- King: Jose Sotelo
“This is a real positive event for the students and their families,” said L.B. Hill Administrator Bob May. “It always makes me smile from ear to ear, and all the students are smiling all the time.
“When you see the kids at the prom, it makes everything worthwhile,” he continued. “They all look so grown up, and I’ve known them since they were 3 or 4. It’s heartwarming.”