Unexpected encounter lands local boy prom date

Brittany Klocke traveled five hours to be with boy on prom night

For most of us, prom is a night to remember, but for one local kid, his prom included a special guest.

Andrew Shumway is a 14-year-old who enjoys telling jokes, making others around him feel better, and just happens to get around in a wheelchair.
But a chance encounter landed him a date for his prom.

The story between Shumway and Brittany Klocke begins in the most unlikely of places. Like a lot of kids, Klocke and some friends decided to take a short trip during their senior year in high school.

“We went to Disneyworld, (and) we went to the beach,” said Klocke.

But on the way home, she had an unexpected surprise.

“Our flight was canceled in Orlando,” said Klocke.

She was stranded at the airport, frustrated and wanting to go back home.
But little did she know, Andrew Shumway and his family were also stuck in Orlando.

That’s when Brittany quickly took an eye to Andrew.

“We spent all day in the airport and I came across Andrew and I could not pass him by, not to say hello,” said Klocke.

“Brittany approached our family and started visiting with Andrew and they become best of friends,” said Lauri Shumway, Andrew’s mom.

With Andrew’s sense of humor, he quickly pulled out his large list of jokes and charmed her.

“He just stole my heart, and I fell in love with him,” said Klocke.

From their conversation, she learned about a prom Andrew planned on attending in Tomah, and that’s when he asked if she would join him.

“I’m just so happy that he invited me to come,” said Klocke.

It just so happens that Klocke’s high school prom was the same night.

Despite her prom being the same night, she traveled five hours from home in Carroll, Iowa, just to be with Andrew Saturday night.

“Once I had this opportunity to go with Andrew, I could not just go to my own high school prom, because it is so much more of a greater experience than a silly high school dance will ever be,” said Klocke.

For Klocke and her family, their reasons for being so kind to Andrew are a little more personal.

“Her little brother is also on the autism spectrum, so I think she hopes that someday, someone will remember that Caden is a person too and takes him to prom,” said Kari Klocke, Brittany’s mom.

From an airport in Orlando to a special evening in Tomah, Brittany and Andrew seem to be connected with more than just good timing.

“It only takes a minute to make someone’s day, and I’m really glad I could be here,” said Klocke

“She’s a beautiful girl, but she’s even more beautiful on the inside than she is on the outside,” said Lauri Shumway.

Klocke currently works in a hospital and plans to continue her education in nursing school this next year. She wants to stay in touch with Andrew and his family, and hopes to come visit him this summer.

Besides driving five hours up to Tomah, Brittany and her family stayed overnight just to be here Saturday evening.