LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) - Prom. It's the night many high school students spend months planning and hours preparing for.
“It can take anywhere from an hour-and-a-half to two hours,” said Jessica Scholl, stylist at Salon on George.
And that's just the hair style.
“I want it curly and then a little puffy on top,” said Erin Limberg, Logan High School junior.
Erin is going to prom. She got up extra early.
“I was just excited,” said Limberg.
Because Prom night is extra special.
“I'm probably going to feel like I'm going to Hollywood,” said Limberg.
High school science teacher Connie Sura is making this experience possible.
“I've been doing this for about 10 years,” said Sura.
Ms. Sura thought it was important that all students had the opportunity to go to prom.
“I couldn't see a reason why they wouldn't be able to go,” said Sura.
You see, Ms. Sura teaches science to a special population.
“I am a cognitive disability teacher,” said Sura.
When she started teaching students with disabilities 34 years ago, her students usually didn't go to prom.
“Just because people are special needs doesn't mean they can't enjoy the things that other people do,” said Sura.
So, a decade ago, she turned to the community to see who was willing to help her make prom a memorable night for her students. The Olive Garden in Onalaska was the first to jump on board by offering a free dinner.
“We are community members and that's what we want to be known as,” said Molly Smits, Olive Garden service manager.
“It just promotes goodwill all the way around,” said Victoria June, owner/stylist at Salon on George. “It's a way to pay it forward.”
For this reason, June has been donating free hair styles for the past eight years.
“It's just great to see the twinkle in their eye when they're looking good,” said June.
“I know what kind of memories this creates and what a special occasion this can be,” said Paul Hausr, manager of Luxury Limousine.
And what prom night is complete without a ride in a limousine, and a handful of pictures to capture the memories created by the generosity of area businesses and the heart of one teacher.
“I don't know how to really explain it,” said Limberg, “but it makes me feel good.”
Maybe it's that, "I'm going to Hollywood," feeling she was hoping for.
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