- Gardendale High School
Date and venue set for JEFCOED’s Exceptional Prom
Birmingham, AL - The Jefferson County School District is proud to announce that its annual Exceptional Prom will be held on Thursday, May 19th at the Finley Center in Hoover. It will be from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.
This event is being made possible in large part through the kindness of people throughout Jefferson County. Upon learning that the prom’s usual location would not be available this year, Hoover City Councilman Mike Shaw reached out to a school system representative asking if there was anything the municipality could do to help. A dialogue began and it was quickly determined that the Finley Center would be the best place to host the event which typically has more than 500 people in attendance.
"When I heard about the situation I knew we had to do something to help. My son just had a great prom the week before at his school, so I was sad to think these kids might not get to have the same experience. I called Mayor Brocato and he agreed,” said Shaw. “I'm so glad we were able to work together with Jefferson County Schools to come up with a solution for these kids! All kids deserve a great prom!”
“This is a world-class venue that anyone would be grateful to use. I cannot thank the city of Hoover and its leadership enough for giving us the use of this facility. Welcoming our students with open arms is an amazing gesture,” said Dr. Walter Gonsoulin, Superintendent of Jefferson County Schools.
After a venue was secured, next up was securing things like food and decorations. That’s where Meghan Cease and her company M. Elizabeth Events stepped in to fill the void.
“After almost two years of some dark days, we wanted to celebrate a new season, and be part of bringing someone joy. Our business made it through the pandemic with a lot of encouragement from friends and clients - people who truly lifted our spirits and urged us to continue moving forward despite circumstances,” said Meghan Cease, owner, and principal planner. “It was strongly laid on my heart to help. This is my opportunity to bring joy to so many hearts, to lift the spirits of students.”
“I particularly want to thank Ms. Cease for helping us this year. From the time she first reached out, I knew she had a servant's heart. Her generosity is greatly appreciated,” said Gonsoulin. “This whole experience has been humbling. We honestly had more offers to help than we ever expected. Jefferson County really is filled with amazing people!”
Scarlet Thompson, the Executive Vice President of Civitan International, reached out to the following clubs in Jefferson County who rushed to raise money for the special event: Birmingham Civitan Club, Gardendale Civitan Club, Hearts of Horizons Civitan Club, Perimeter Civitan Club, Vestavia Civitan Club, and ACTION Civitan Club. They raised over $1,600.00 in just two days.
The event is for students in self-contained exceptional education classes in JEFCOED High Schools. Parents should expect an invitation to come home with their students early next week. Students will be picked up from their home school by bus, taken to the prom, and then returned to their school by the end of the day.