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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

New Vision Youth Prom: The Chance to be a Grown-up!

The New Vision Youth of Kingsport got the chance to "strut their stuff" at the annual Youth Prom, sponsored by New Vision Youth, the Brothers of the Clinch Mountain Lodge #531, and the Daughters of Elks, #344.

To see pictures of the event, please click 2009 New Vision Youth Prom. To also access the pictures from Rev. Mills, please click Prom Pictures--Rev. Mills

The prom was held Saturday June 13, 2009 in the Banquet Room at the Elks Lodge in Riverview.

The theme this year was "Aloha--Kids With Smiling Faces," and those faces were in abundance during the event, as the kids were treated to pizza, punch, Capri-Suns and plenty of excitement.

"The prom is a huge success this year," says New Vision Director Johnnie Mae Swaggerty, because of our partners, Brothers of the Clinch Mountain Lodge, the Daughters of Elks, friends of the community and the New Vision parents."

As all proms usually feature, the kids were all dressed up in their Sunday best, with the young ladies adorned in evening dresses, prom dresses, and party dresses. Their gentlemen escorts were decked out in tuxedo's and suits. Elegance and poise, from the child's point of view, was the order of the day.

"Today, they get the chance to act as grown-up as they want to, the young men pulling the chair out for their dates, going and getting a kid's drink for them, and showing them the respect that any prom demands," says Johnnie Mae. "The young ladies on the other hand, got the chance to see that these scruffy, bundles of energy they go to school with, can actually have manners and respect for them. They all also get the chance to have fun with their friends, and even make new ones."

A special highlight was the taking of pictures by the Reverend H. Roger Mills, professional-style pictures that the kids will always have as memories of the event. "A special thanks to Rev. Mills and Douglass Website photographer Calvin Sneed for giving the kids the feeling that they are special," says Johnnie Mae.

"This is really a safe and healthy environment that we're trying to do for the kids," she says. "It's something they can come out to, and enjoy, just like the adults would. It's a 'safe haven' envionment, thanks to Stan Treece and the Brothers of the Clinch Mountain Lodge 531.. every Saturday, I try and plan a little something for the kids, and they are always here for us. I really appreciate them."

Probably, the biggest highlight of the event was the naming of the New Vision Prom King and Queen. Patty Hoard served as the judge, observing the kids having fun, and being courteous to each other, and based her decision on the attitudes and manners of the children. The 2009 New Vision Youth Queen is Miss Kaylee Wells, a five-year-old kindergartner from Johnson City, and the 2009 New Vision Youth King is 11-year-old Charles Casey. Charles goes to Jefferson School in Kingsport.

The kids also got to kick up their heels to the music from deejay B.T. and the kids proved they are excellent dancers. Many of the adults lamented on the dance skills they used to have, now long gone, that the kids now seem to have in abundance. Many of their favorite tunes kept them busy, in between eating, resting and socializing.

"This kind of program is a unifying event for the Riverview Community," says Johnnie Mae. "It gives the young ones a chance to 'kick up their heels,' who can't go to the big proms their older brothers, sisters and relatives go to, yet they get to experience the pomp and circumstance the big kids get to do. The 5 and 6 year olds have been excited about this for weeks now, and parents tell me the older youth have had their fancy wear laid out for days."

"Was that really ME?.. that doesn't look like me. Years from now, they'll look back
at these pictures and remember the good time they had. They'll see the fun they had, and know that this is a wonderful community we live in. This shows them that they can be SOMEBODY, that they ARE somebody.. that they can be whomever and whatever they want to be. It starts with character and respect, and this Prom is one of the building blocks that gets that started."