The Rotary Club of Chula Vista respectfully requests $500 from district matching grant funds to support A Night to Remember (ANTR), a free prom honoring students age 15-22 years old with special needs. ANTR began in 2011 with 300 students. Today, ANTR welcomes more than 800 students from 70 different schools in the San Diego County area.
Specifically, the funds will be used to purchase boutonnieres and corsages for more than 800 students. The "Flower Table," as it is known, is manned on the night of the prom by 10 Rotarians from the Chula Vista and Eastlake clubs, and the Rotary wheel and name is prominently displayed at the station. Rotarians attach a boutonniere or corsage to each honored guest, with their permission.
There is no cost to students - their participation is entirely funded by outside resources. In addition to boutonnieres and corsages, honored guests receive free dresses or tuxedos, make-up application, hair styling, jewelry, a keepsake photo, gift bag, appetizers and dessert, a limo ride to their destination, a walk down a red carpet lined with cheering supporters, and a night of dancing.
Each student is matched to one of more than 800 able-bodied student volunteers recruited from the local community. In addition, several hundred adults each year volunteer to handle planning, logistics, finance, traffic, and multiple other support functions. Parents of the honored guests are able to watch their children on a theatre-sized screen from a specially designated area adjacent to the auditorium.
A Night to Remember Prom is an event designed to reach students with special needs; the impact on that group is unquestionable. But this event has positively impacted the mainstream student Hosts as well. Through this Prom, barriers are broken and friendships are formed.
Project timeline: April 2020.
Rotarians involved: 10 Rotarians, plus more than 1,000 community volunteers.