Posted June 14, 2006
A Touching Success Story Well Worth Reduplicating
Catholic high school students use prom night as chance to help others
By Gary Morton
Catholic News Service
WILMINGTON, Del. (CNS) -- Prom nights usually provide a chance for students
to lavish attention on themselves, from glitzy gowns and tuxedos to special
hairdos and limousines.
But this year, a student at St. Mark's High School in Wilmington did more
than that. Andrea Davies turned the annual senior prom into a time to think
about others by arranging for free limousine rides and dinners for five
teens with mental disabilities who are friends with St. Mark's students
through the statewide Blue-Gold program.
Blue-Gold is a Delaware program that matches high school athletes with
people with disabilities for various activities.
"We wanted to make it a special night not just for the seniors and their
dates, but for someone else, too," said Davies, a member of St. Mark's
So while the seniors and their dates celebrated at the prom, a group of
Blue-Gold buddies and their guests enjoyed free dinner and limousine
The event, dubbed "Prime Night," took place May 26. Five Blue-Gold buddies
gathered with their families and guests at St. Mark's and took limousine
rides to restaurants on Wilmington's riverfront.
Forrie Brown ate dinner at Joe's Crab Shack with a friend, Holly Kaess; Joe
Cruz, one of Brown's buddies from St. Mark's; and Brown's father, Bruce
Riding in the limousine "was a little scary" at first, Brown told The
Dialog, newspaper of the Diocese of Wilmington. "I had never been in a limo
Caitlin Coughlan and her parents dined at Conley Ward's Steakhouse.
Caitlin's mother, Ruth Coughlan, said she was overwhelmed by Davies'
generosity. "Just the thought behind it is incredible," she said.
All the attention also made an impression on Caitlin. "I thought I was like
someone famous. I will always remember this," she said.
Davies got the idea for the evening after she realized that the limousines
the students rented for the prom would remain idle from the time they were
dropped off until the drivers picked them up at the end of the evening.
She talked five riverfront restaurants into donating meals for up to four
people; a florist donated a rose for each buddy and DND Limousine Service
donated a limousine.
After delivering the seniors and their dates to the prom site, two white
limousines drove to St. Mark's to pick up the five buddies and their guests.
They took the five groups to their restaurants and returned later to pick
them up and drive them back to St. Mark's. The drivers then returned to the
prom location to pick up the students and go back to St. Mark's for an
Davies hopes Prime Night will become an annual event. "It would be cool if
other schools do something like this," she said.