A ‘shimmering’ prom night

April event at Adventure Aquarium geared to those with disabilities


The county will present its first Night to Shimmer: Under the Sea Prom next month at Camden’s Adventure Aquarium for those with disabilities.

“This isn’t for kids in high school, this is for people who are 15 or older, so we could get somebody there who’s in their 50s experiencing prom for the first time,” said Karen Weidner, director of programming for individuals with disABILITIES and Special Needs.

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“Most of the people on the waiting list were Camden County, so we decided we should have our own (prom),” said Camden County Commissioner Ed McDonald.

The free prom will take place Thursday, April 25, from 6 to 9 p.m. The hope is for people with disabilities to have a unique prom experience. They can attend the event alone or with family members and it will be inclusive and accessible. The night will feature a red carpet experience, a 360 photo both, music, dancing and food.

“What our whole programs for folks with disabilities is, it’s trying to create experiences that are like what other people can do, things they routinely do,” McDonald explained. He added that although some might think ‘these folks have pretty significant disabilities, so they can’t do these activities,’ they can do it. The programs just need to be adapted.”

The county offers year-round activities and events geared to the disabled and special-needs communities.

“We’re very lucky in this county to be able to provide all this programming, that we have a commissioner board so supportive of people with disabilities, because I don’t think we’re anything like anybody else in the state,” Wiedner said.

“We offer so much for these special individuals, and that’s thanks to our commissioner board sponsoring all these wonderful events.”

March events are happening nearly every day of the week: dance lessons on Mondays, Bocce Ball on Tuesdays, horse therapy on Wednesdays and yoga on Thursdays.

“This group of individuals that I work with are probably the most pleasant people that I’ve ever met in my life,” Weidner reflected. “They develop strong lasting friendships with the others that attend these programs. Just because they have some kind of disability doesn’t mean they aren’t able to do what those of us who don’t have a disability can do, and we try to offer programs to them that they might not otherwise have access to.”

To register or learn more, visit https://www.camdencounty.com/event/disabilities-night-to-shimmer-under-the-sea-prom

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