HONESDALE—With prom season on the horizon, budding along with the first signs of Spring, The Cooperage Project, along with community volunteers, the Wayne Highlands School District, Community Vocational Service, the Arc and students from the middle school after-school program, Pop-Up Club, hosted a special prom of their own.

According to a press release, the inaugural Pop-Up Prom was held from 3-6 p.m. on Saturday, March 30 at 6th and River, offering a chance for individuals in the community with intellectual and physical disabilities to dress up in semi-formal attire and dance the night away.

There were 42 attendees in total, dining and dancing alongside their parents and caregivers in a rich fantasy setting to music supplied by DJ, Black Ops Sound and Lighting.

Event coordinator, Arrah Fisher stated in a later interview, once the group finished with dinner, “the dance floor was packed all night long.”

An hour before the event, attendees could visit Mick's Barber Shop or the Bodhi Tree Art School and Studio for a free, pre-prom pamper from stylists from Mane Creations and Utopia Salon.

Continuing the celebrity treatment, the release notes attendees also received a volunteer-made corsage or boutonniere, a crown or tiara, and a personalized gift bag including items donated from local businesses and a framed picture from the photo booth.

Helping the event along, over 20 community volunteers attended “...to assist with everything from the red carpet entrance, custom designed photo booth station and dinner service,” states the release.

Servicemen and service women from local ROTC also attended, greeting, assisting, and dancing with the guests.

Memorializing the night, photographers Randy Harris, Michelle Erbach (Michelle Lee Photography) and Katiera Hatton (Circa Photo), donated their services to chronicle the evening.

Of the inaugural Pop-Up Prom, Fisher stated in a later interview, “It was awesome! Everyone was just smiling and having the time of their lives.”

Fisher explained the idea to put Pop-Up Prom together was inspired by similar “A Night to Shine” events sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation held in Scranton and Dickson City.

Noting that such locations are a bit of a drive for those in the area, Fisher said, “We thought we'd try to host one here.”

Students in the Pop-Up Club, played a large part in planning the event. A press release notes students designed the invitations and created the photo booth, and Fisher added the kids had a prominent hand in creating and decorating the Narnia-esque high fantasy setting.

Excited by the success of the inaugural event, Fisher is hopeful it can can continue to blossom and grow in years to come.

Fisher said it was “heartwarming” to see all the work come together from all the volunteers and students to put the event together.

“It was a total community effort,” said Fisher, noting Pop-Up Prom came together from the kindness and compassion of many local volunteers and contributors donating time or funding. “It was really great to get all parts of the community involved with it.”

According to a release, sponsors included: 6th and River; Apple Day Spa; Art’s for Him and Her Too; The Bodhi Tree Art School and Studio; The Cat’s Pajamas; Circa Photo; Community Vocational Services; Curtis Plumbing, Heating and Electric; Dakan Enterprises; Dan Nelson Tattoo; Grimm Construction Inc; Highlights for Children; Howell & Howell; Inter-County Abstract; Jeannie’s Chapel Street Salon; Kathy Martin, Sr Deputy District Attorney; Mane Creations Salon; Michelle Lee Photography; Mick’s Barber Shop; Moka Origins; New Wave Construction Inc; O’Neill Bussing Inc; Pioneer Construction Co; Platform Industries; Pop-Up Club; Quality Printing and Design; Randy Harris Photography; ReMax Wayne; The Skier Foundation; Sprout Pediatric Dental; Turano Insurance and Financial LLC; Woodloch.

—Information from a release was used in this story.