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Stand Up to Cancer Club hosts prom for patients

Caitlin Housley | Thursday, March 1, 2012

Saint Mary’s College Stand Up to Cancer Club is encouraging cancer patients, survivors and caregivers to “Don’t Stop Believing.” This Journey-inspired theme will provide the atmosphere for the club’s dance for cancer patients, family and community members tonight at 6 p.m. in Haggar Parlor.

Junior Devon Graham, coordinator of the prom, said this night was a way to give patients and loved ones the opportunity to recreate missed experiences.

“Unfortunately a lot of cancer patients miss out on really important events like prom, weddings and reunions,” Graham said.

Graham said she developed the idea for a prom when volunteering at Memorial Hospital last semester.

“They had mentioned that they wanted to do something for the patients, like a dance,” she said. “I had wanted to do a dance for my club anyway, but never really thought about combining the two. Then I thought, ‘Prom.'”

She said the evening will feature prom traditions including evening gowns, decorations and the election of a prom king and queen.

The club has also hired a DJ to play family-friendly music which will appeal to dancers from age three to 50, Graham said.

“We have DJ 3J coming, and we met with him and said we need all kinds of music for all ages,” Graham said. “There will be the dorky Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus to oldies.”

Grahman said local organizations have also helped to make the evening very special.

“We’ve had tons of gently used formal gowns donated, so it’s been pretty awesome,” she said. “[And] we’re getting flowers completely donated, so we don’t have to pay for [much, thanks to donations].”

While the club volunteers mainly at Memorial Hospital, Graham said cancer patients and survivors from all over the Michiana area are welcome.

“We didn’t want to close it down to other people,” she said. “We want everyone to feel welcome to come.”

Overall, Graham said the theme of Journey’s song “Don’t Stop Believing” is a perfect way to summarize her hopes for the night.

“It’s just a night for everyone to forget what they are going through — their troubles — and just celebrate life and have fun,” she said.