HOUSTON - A small army of volunteers came together Saturday to create a magical night for the young patients at MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Many can’t attend their school proms, so the hospital and community came together to put on “Prom Party Palooza” just for them.
"Prom is one of the many ways we celebrate our patients and their brave fight against cancer," said Kevin Long, director of Pediatric Operations at MD Anderson.
The teens were all decked out in sparkly dresses and spiffy tuxes as they danced the night away on the 24th- floor observation deck.
While the DJ played their favorite songs, they forgot about the tests and treatments and tough road ahead, and simply enjoyed being teenagers for a few hours.
Houston Texans DE Christian Covington joined them on the dance floor and posed for pictures in the photo booth. Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Jeff Bagwell and his wife were also spotted in the crowd.
Before the prom, the young patients were pampered by Pageboy pros who did their hair, makeup and nails. It was a three-hour whirlwind of eye shadow, curling irons and hairspray.
“I love makeup!” said Jessica.
Ten-year-old Jasmine, from China, wanted lots of glitter and even came prepared with her own makeup.
After getting dolled up, it was time to get dressed up in gowns donated by Stage Stores and jewelry donated by Kendra Scott.
Jasmine was transformed from a little girl in a Minnie Mouse cap to a young lady in a lavender gown.
"She looks like a woman," her surprised mother said when Jasmine waltzed out of the dressing room, head held high.
Jasmine and other young patients went to a separate party hosted by the Sunshine Kids.They enjoyed arts and crafts, face painting and goody bags.
Parents and siblings had their own event complete with casino games, music and yummy food donated by area restaurants.
"Three separate parties allow the entire family to experience the joy of prom," said Thomas Nguyen, co-founder of Prom Party Palooza and co-owner of Peli Peli restaurants in Houston. "Parents and siblings are also affected by the challenges of cancer, so it makes sense for the entire family to enjoy the fun times."
The Houston Chapter of the National Association for Catering and Events (NACE) joined Peli Peli and others as a co-sponsor and Marine Express Foods helped underwrite the event.
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