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For special prom, community lends helping hand

Wearing their best attire, approximately 25 students ate, danced and sang the afternoon away at the Halifax County Country Club on Friday during the Halifax County Middle and High School exceptional students prom.

Students ranging in age from 12 to 21 enjoyed a catered lunch by Spainhour Diner from 11 a.m. to noon and then danced to tunes provided by DJ Shakespeare until 2 p.m. 

According to Cheryl Wilkerson and Barbara Estes, the nearly 25 students attending Friday’s prom seemed to thoroughly enjoy the event. Wilkerson provided refreshments, and Estes and Debbie Hackney provided all the decorations.

“We wanted it to be special for all the children,” said Wilkerson.

The exceptional students prom is usually held in the auxiliary gym at the high school with little lighting and ventilation. This year the ladies came up with the idea to “go all out” and began working on the plans in January. 

Wilkerson contacted local businesses and asked for
donations in support of the event. A donor who wished to remain private provided use of the country club for the event.

“The community as a whole was very generous to us,” said Wilkerson.

Administrators including Superintendent Dr. Merle Herndon, Supervisor of Special Education Jeff Davis, Director of Secondary Education/Accountability Frosty Owens, Director of Elementary Education/Professional Development Linda Owen and school board members ED-3 trustee Kimberly Farson, ED-6 trustee Fay Satterfield and ED-7 trustee R.K. “Dick” Stoneman all attended.

Wilkerson said this year’s prom for exceptional students was a “huge success” thanks to the donations and support from the following businesses: Halifax Regional Hospital, State Farm Insurance, J.E. Burton Construction, Dominos, Sheetz, Burger King, KFC, Benton-Thomas, Spainhour Diner, Milady’s Fashion Boutique, Triangle Florist, Gregory’s Florist, Walmart, Aaron’s home furnishings, Teresa Reamer Carter for photography, DJ Shakespeare, his wife and daughter who helped serve, Halifax County Public Schools central office, Ronnie Duffey and Betsey Harris who provided help to Wilkerson and Estes with the event and others who wished to remain anonymous.

Prior to the prom, students were given goody bags with two water bottles and four gift cards donated by area businesses.

“It was a community effort,” Estes concluded.