On Saturday, May 16 — after most of the year’s athletic events were memories — more than 450 volunteers, including athletes, cheerleaders and coaches, helped make dreams come true on a scale far more impactful than any game-winning touchdown pass. The Capital Christian Center saw scores of local athletes escorting 258 special needs guests to an extraordinary experience at the 6th Annual Evening of Dreams.
The prom was founded and is still directed by Michelle Raby to reach out to the special needs community with a red carpet event for teens and young adults with disabilities. The goal was to create a prom experience complete with limousines, formal pictures, music and refreshments with the ability to provide for a variety of special needs.
The event, which started in 2010 with 64 special needs guests and 178 volunteers, has seen its profile rise. The Evening of Dreams attracted stars like Folsom’s Jake Browning, Capital Christian’s Justice Shelton-Mosley and Paige Florio, and Oak Ridge’s Laurel Maunder and Ryan Sullivan as 42 local high schools and 22 colleges (including athletes returning from as far away as Ole Miss) were represented.
“The atmosphere that is created is amazing and it allows you to step into a comfort zone where you can be yourself and just laugh and dance around,” said Mosley, who attended for the first time in 2015. “My goal in life is to serve and give back, and it was a very humbling experience.” To read more