The prom, which is being held from 6 until 10 p.m. at the Glen Clem Memorial Gym on the Jasper campus of Bevill State Community College, is also made possible by area businesses and a grant from the Walker Area Community Foundation, said Jackie Gilbreath, president of the Pilot Club of Jasper.
The theme for tonight’s prom is “An Evening to Remember.”
Gilbreath said the original idea for the prom came from Dora Anchor Club members, who hosted their own special needs prom last year and wanted to expand it this year to include students from across the county.
“Early in the school year, we met with officials from both boards of education and got their approval to move forward with plans for the prom,” Gilbreath said. “They were very receptive and have been totally supportive through the whole process.”
Gilbreath said Bevill State officials graciously offered to allow the use of the gym for the event.
“We are thrilled about this because that gives us the ability to have the feel of a true high school prom,” she said.
More than 30 Anchor Club members from Curry, Dora, Oakman and Walker high schools spent Thursday afternoon decorating the gym for tonight’s prom. The decorations were provided by Cordova and Walker high schools, which held their proms earlier this month.
Gilbreath said a number of businesses are working to make sure tonight’s prom is a success. Anna Daniel, owner of Leaf and Petal and a Pilot Club member, is providing corsages and boutonnieres for the students, and Michelle Hallmark, owner of Michelle’s Bakery and also a Pilot Club member, is providing a cake.
Faith Chapel Funeral Home is offering a limousine for students to have photos taken in.
Belk in the Jasper Mall has provided clothing for some students, and Lee’s Chicken is catering the event.
Julie Bray will be doing hair and makeup for students, Gilbreath said, and entertainment will be provided by Jeff Parnell.
Special keepsake T-shirts from the event are being made by Jeremy Hagood of Designs on You in Jasper.
Gilbreath said Pilot Club members are hoping family members of the special needs students will also attend tonight’s prom.
“We encouraged each family to bring as many guests as they would like,” she said. “We want parents and caregivers to feel free to attend along with a date or friend.”
She said an invitation has also been extended to officials from the Jasper City and Walker County school systems.
Gilbreath said Pilot Club and Anchor Club members will be on hand to assist with tonight’s event.
“Our plan is to make this an annual event,” she said. “We are very grateful for all the support, assistance and encouragement we have received from businesses and individuals from all over the county.”