VIPs shine at prom

WAIPOULI — Jordan Edayan and Elaine Kato were elated beyond words Sunday night.

“This is my very first time,” Edayan said, stopping at the end of a ballon archway lined with rope lights. “I’m a party girl, and I like these types of events.”

Kato showed her excitement by jumping up and down and clapping with delight. She and Edayan were among the 100 people who enjoyed the Newness Very Important People Prom at the Courtyard by Marriott Kauai Resort at Coconut Beach.

“This is the second year we’re hosting the prom,” said Anna Munos, who along with Wendee Van Giesen of Specialty Balloons coordinated the event for the VIP youth. “Last year, the prom was hosted by the Young Capernum program at the Lihue Missionary Church. There were so many parents, volunteers and community groups who wanted to continue the event.”

The effort culminated with the VIP Prom where youth with disabilities from the Easter Seals of Hawaii, Waimea and Kapaa sites, Lihue Missionary Church, Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School, Kapaa, Kauai, and Waimea high schools walked through the balloon archways to the specially decorated Paddle Room filled with violin music provided by Aowl Owen.

Easter Seals’ mission is to provide exceptional, individualized, family centered services to empower people with disabilities or special needs to achieve their goals.

“I started a week after they had their prom last year,” said Lianna Soong of the Courtyard by Marriott. “I’m so glad they’re back here again. They were so easy to work with, and they’re having so much fun.”

Van Giesen said one of the new facets of this year was the addition of the Ohana Room, where parents and family enjoyed dinner with their prom attendees after taking pictures.

“They even have the word ‘special’ on the bus,” one of the thrilled attendees said as The Kauai Bus rolled up to provide rides to the resort. “This is very special.”


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