Adults from the disabled and non-disabled community alike danced the afternoon away at a prom hosted by the Catholic Daughters of America court at Our Lady of Peace Parish in Williamstown on April 26.
Some 30 adults from the community and area Arc of New Jersey homes participated in the dance, which included refreshments, a limbo and hula contest, and a crowning of a prom King and Queen.
The Arc is the New Jersey’s largest organization advocating for and serving citizens with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.
“Our theme this year was the works of mercy,” said court regent, Kathie Restuccio. “We’re giving to the local community but we get so much back from them. That’s especially true of this population.”
Until about four years ago, the prom had been a Williamstown tradition, hosted by the town’s women’s club. This year, the Catholic Daughters court sought to bring the dance back to the community. Several of the court’s members have loved ones with intellectual or developmental disabilities.
Kelly Curtin, 45, was crowned prom queen and spent most of the event on the dance floor. She remembered attending the prom from previous years, and was excited to see it come back. She occupied a full dance floor with other attendees, their caretakers and members of the Catholic Daughters court.
The dance was the first of its kind held by the court, which is active in other community service projects, including creating baptismal bibs for all of the infants baptized at the parish, making rosaries for prison inmates, maintaining church shrines, supporting the parish’s seminarians and various local charities, including an animal shelter.
The court, which has existed since 1957, currently has 51 active members and meets once a month.