THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

FERNDALE, Pa. — A western Pennsylvania mother's effort to organize a prom for her son with special needs has turned into an event for other students in the same situation.

Carrie Boyer, of Ferndale, organized "Our Fairytale Prom" for her 19-year-old son Charles, WJAC-TV reported.

Charles, a twin who was born prematurely, is legally blind, has cerebral palsy and has epilepsy. He is a senior at the Vo-Tech Life Skills program in the Ferndale Area School District, about 60 miles east of Pittsburgh. He wanted to attend the school district's prom, but couldn't because of health issues.

That's why his mother organized the May 31 event, and community members have volunteered to provide some services for the event.

"There's a lot of children that don't get to go to prom, a lot of special needs kids, you know, due to needing one-on-one care, they just can't do it," Boyer said. "So we just decided, why don't we throw him his own prom and then we can invite all the special needs children to come?"

The event, at Our Son's Banquet Hall in Johnstown, has grown to the point that Boyer is inviting any students 15 and older with special needs.

"I honestly didn't think it would get this big," Boyer said.

At first, the plan was to have "friends and family get together and throw Charles a party and let it be like his prom," Boyer said. "But then the more the word got out there and I was telling people about it, it's turned into ... huge, a prom for everybody."



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