Stars in the Hills Prom in Porterville

On Saturday, over 100 high school students and young adults attended the 19th Annual Stars in the Hills prom at Granite Hills High School in Porterville. The event is a treasured tradition for students with special needs from the Porterville area. This year, students and young adults attended from Granite Hills High School, Monache High School, Porterville High School, Strathmore High School, Summit Collegiate High School, and the Community Based Instruction classrooms operated by the Tulare County Office of Education.

The Porterville Breakfast Rotary and students in Interact Clubs from Porterville’s high schools organize the event. Dozens of community volunteers and businesses also work each year to collect donated dresses and shoes, help with alterations, and arrange the flowers, food, entertainment, and decorations to create a magical evening for attendees. John Hasson of Tux-N-Tails Visalia provided the tuxedos and suits. Kaylor Landscaping provided the lighting for the outdoor venue on the Granite Hills High School campus, known as the Pyramid. Other supporters included Porterville Military Academy cadets, Imperial Ambulance, and Simplot Growers Solutions.

Members of the Barn Theater, and local hairdressers and manicurists volunteered their time Saturday morning to ensure the girls had their hair and nails done, and the boys received haircuts. The Promoting Self Worth adult program provided a party bus to transport the students to the event, while first responders from Porterville city police and fire departments and CalFire greeted the guests. Students received corsages and boutonnieres, as well as keepsakes from Monache’s PIVET Club. Adrian Cloyd returned as DJ for the event.

During the event, students graduating from their programs were crowned as kings and queens.

“Porterville Breakfast Rotary looked for a way to make our community a better place in 2004,” said Janice Castle, a member of club. “We discovered that intellectually- and developmentally-disabled students did not attend the high school proms and were missing out on one of life’s memory milestones. We decided to fill that need and create a prom environment that would be enticing to them – a place where they are the ‘stars,’ and where their families and teachers are included, along with their favorite foods, music, and of course, all their friends. It’s been a tremendous success. We will continue to give back and make a difference in our community.”

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