In jackets and ties, party dresses and heels, more than 125 young patients and their guests dressed up to dance, mingle and party at a very special evening on June 1: prom night. The theme of this year’s eighth annual event, “Mysteries of the Deep,” allowed prom-goers to boogie to a live DJ and play underwater-themed games like Poseidon’s Pearl, Shark Attack and Tic Tac Tuna in a setting decorated with sea creatures and nautical figures.
The annual semiformal dance is held for current and former students of Packard Children’s Hospital school, which enrolls in grades K through 12 those patients and even siblings whose medical care may last months or even years. Prom night offers a rare chance for teens and other patients, many of whom have life-threatening illnesses, to take part in a rite of passage that takes them outside the routine of hospital life. The prom has been held since 2005.
“It’s so important for these kids—some of whom will never go to their school prom—to have a night where they can forget they’re in a hospital and just be kids,” says Kathy Ho, the prom coordinator and a teacher at the school, part of the Palo Alto Unified School District.
Watch the party coming together in this recent newscast from KTVU, Channel 2.
- Stanford Children's Health
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