Monday, November 27, 2023

The Real Prom to Remember

It’s prom season and I see so many of my friends going all out to outfit their kids—expensive gowns, hair and make-up and main-pedis, hotel accommodations—it’s a far cry from the good old days when proms were still actually held in the school gym, and no one would have dreamed of going somewhere to have an adult give you a smoky eye and a hair blow-out. But I digress. Regardless of my personal amazement at what proms have become, there is one I find pretty wonderful: A Prom to Remember, this Friday night at the Ritz-Carlton in Fort Lauderdale for teens aged from 12 to 19 who share one thing; they all have cancer.

This is how organizer Brandon Opre tells the story:

“When I realized that many teens suffering from life-threatening illnesses miss out on many of their high school memories, a thought came to mind. What if I came up a special event for these kids that they will cherish forever? High school prom is one of the big events of a teenager’s life, and had always meant a lot to me growing up, so what if we created this really cool prom for the kids? I bounced this idea off of several friends and people in the community; needless to say it gained momentum and my idea quickly became a reality.

“At the beginning I figured we would invite all the cancer-patients in my local Fort Lauderdale area to this special Prom. Before long, I realized there are many other kids in the neighboring counties as well—I wanted to invite them all! With an entourage of community supporters rallying behind me, in 2009 we assembled more than just your usual Prom – we provided the ultimate prom experience for kids battling cancer. With that, A Prom To Remember was born and kids from all over South Florida were in attendance.

“A Prom To Remember has quickly spread to other areas of the country, with Cleveland creating their first Prom in 2010. Other US cities will be launching events this upcoming year.

“I am grateful for the support of our surrounding communities and hope to eventually provide A Prom To Remember for kids all across the country.”

The Unforgettable Prom Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)3 charity; contact Brandon if you want to help at: 877/385-7766


Where: The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale (1 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale)

When: Friday, May 15, from 7 to 11 p.m.

Theme: Alice in Wonderland

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