May 03, 2016
After 16 years in his school district, a 21-year-old Pennsylvania man was crowned prom king last weekend when 37 supportive ladies joined him as dates for the annual dance.
Sammy Lamar, a special needs student at Altoona's Penn Cambria High School, attended Saturday's event at the Lakemont Casino in a pair of shades, a spotless tuxedo and a bowtie, according to WJAC-TV.
Penn Cambria Senior Karingtin Sklodowski, who arranged the invitation, told the station she was thrilled to have him there and see him experience that kind of elation.
"It's very heartwarming to be able to have him here with us," Sklodowski said. "He is a part of the class of 2016 so like I said before, he should have the moment that all seniors get to have and seeing him in his tux and how nice he looks, his sunglasses and his smile."
The idea gained momentum at the start of the school year after Sklodowski asked Sammy's teacher if it would be appropriate to take him to the prom. One by one, all 37 of Sammy's dates got on board with the idea. Then they sent a letter to Sammy's mom, Diana Lamar, to request her son's presence at the prom.
Lamar said that the students' collective act of kindness presents a welcome contrast to the fear of bullying most parents of special needs students experience.
"They already have enough going on that they don't need that too," Lamar said. "We've never, ever encountered that at Penn Cambria. The kids here have been amazing."
Sammy will officially graduate from Penn Cambria High School on June 4.