Longview’s Maude Cobb Convention Center hosts East Texas Special Needs Prom

East Texas News at 6.
Published: May. 6, 2022 at 3:43 PM CDT|Updated: May. 6, 2022 at 7:55 PM CDT
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LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - If you’re a high school student, it’s a pretty big deal: the prom. Nobody wants to miss out. And the Special Needs Prom held at Maude Cobb in Longview is a very big deal, as students from 40 East Texas schools were dancing the day away.

It was cancelled the last two years, but this year it’s a go: The Special Needs Prom. Cathy Musick works as Upshur County Shared Services Student Coordinator, and has been working on this shindig since September.

“We had six hundred students and staff register. But we probably are going to end up feeding seven hundred today. And we’ve probably had at least a thousand people with the students and staff come through here. So, it does take a bit of planning,” Musick said.

And it also takes a bit of formalwear, but attendees get a break on that.

“We have people who donate dresses. I know a lot of the schools have donation centers. So, they’ve gotten help with dresses and our young men, a lot of tuxedos out there as well,” Musick said.

Yes, there was a sea of fashion moving to the beat including Alexander Shields. His mom Christina says he’s a senior and this will be his last prom.

“He’s been looking forward to this all year long. He practices every day,” Christina said.

And it shows.

“Wow, dude! You got some moves,” I said to Alexander.

“Yeah,” he agreed.

“You practice a lot?” I asked him.

“Yeah, with the Chicken!” Alexander smiled as he danced.

Christina says Alexander not only gets to cut loose, but he also gets to see friends from other schools, and:

“Some old teachers that have left our school system and gone to other school systems,” Christina said.

Suddenly there was a mass exodus. Did they tire of rug-cutting? No, it was time for the obligatory prom picture.

“We pride ourselves on creating experiences for children. And that’s what we’ve done today is we created an experience and a memory that I hope will always be with them,” Musick said.

Well, If the memory gets a little distant, there’s nothing like a photo to bring it all back.

Cathy Musick says the prom and dinner are free for attendees thanks to funding provided by private donations and sponsors.

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