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Candy Land is the setting for a special prom
Guindalyn Goss candy
Guindalyn Goss of Friends Helping Friends hands out candy as part of the Candy Land theme of the 2nd annual Liberty County School System Special Needs Gala May 6 at Bradwell Institute. - photo by Tiffany King

Students spent an evening in Candy Land at the second annual Liberty County School System Special Needs Gala.

High school-aged special-education students from the area donned formal attire and gathered at Bradwell Institute May 6 with family and friends for a night of dancing and fun.

The night was hosted by Friends Helping Friends, a student-led organization at Bradwell that connects special-education students with their general-education peers.

The event started with dinner in the school commons area, outside the cafeteria.  

Michelle Lugo opened the program by singing “Beauty and the Beast.”

Guindalyn Goss, BI junior, talked about the mission of Friends Helping Friends and thanked parents “for allowing us to be your child’s friends.”

What followed was a recap on FHF recent activities, future events and presentations to sponsors.

Katherine Seamone was honored for donating toward the FHF trip to the state capitol in February, when FHF was honored in front of lawmakers for their contributions to special-needs students.

Her donation extended the trip to two days, allowing the students to do more sightseeing in Atlanta.

Charlie Moon, BI special education teach and FHF advisor, recognized one of the club’s main sponsors, Professional Contract Services Inc.

PSCI, a nonprofit organization, provides support services to hospitals, military bases and private-sector clients, with a federal initiative for employing people with disabilities.

PCSI donated $3,500 to FHF in March and then another $500 at the gala.

FHF has raised more than $10,000 for activities this year.

BI Principal Scott Carrier considered the prom a great way to have students come together.

The club also presented an award to Carrier for allowing the club’s activities at the school.

Tracey Dowdy, an aide in U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter’s office, read a letter from the Savannah Republican, who could not attend. Carter’s letter thanked FHF for their work.

Scholarships were given to FHF board members Kamryn Johnson and Nikkie Reynolds. Takie Brooks, known as the Numbers Man who can recall anything that has to do with calendars, dates and days of the week, took questions from the audience. He answered correctly each time.

Then it was time to enter Candy Land.

Freshmen and sophomores walked the red carpet into the cafeteria, as their parents cheered, escorted by FHF members.

The cafeteria was transformed into the game Candy Land with candy canes hanging from the ceiling, stacked gum drops, lollipops, colored squares on the floor which attendees followed around the room collecting candy, and King Candy’s throne.

Juniors and seniors went on a limousine ride around town. When they returned, it was their turn to walk the red carpet to cheers.

Approximately 60 kids attended the gala, where they danced the night away.

Dinner was catered by Sho Nuff Smokin’ Good BBQ.

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