‘Priceless:’ Foran brings back Unified prom after two-year hiatus

MILFORD — Students from several area high schools joined together Monday to celebrate the annual Unified prom.

This annual event, organized under the Unified Sports/Special Olympics umbrella and held at the Joseph A. Foran High cafeteria, brings students with special needs together with student leader-peers for an afternoon of energized dancing, great food, and lots of bright smiles.

“We were so excited to bring back Unified Prom this year for our Special Olympics Unified Sports athletes and partners,” said Foran faculty member and Unified Sports advisor Rick Raucci, adding that the prom was not held the past two years due to the pandemic.

"The event is a true testament to our ‘Small City with a Big Heart’ in that so many area businesses not only donated supplies for the event, but some even came to help out,” he added. “A great time was had by our athletes and partners, and they walked away with some wonderful memories.”

Nearly 100 students attended the event representing Foran High School, Jonathan Law High School, IPPI/Stratford, Stratford High School, Bunnell High School, and the Parsons Perks team from central office.

A contingent of adult and student volunteers assisted throughout the afternoon, serving food, taking pictures, and making sure a good time was had by all.

In addition to dancing the afternoon away with a professional DJ, students were welcomed at a variety of activity stations along the perimeter of the venue, including a photo booth, cotton candy, sno-cones, and a complimentary pizza station. And, as the partygoers departed, each one was given a gift card to use at a variety of local establishments.

The event was made possible due to the donations of nearly 20 vendors and contributors from across the region.

Co-advisors Erin Williams and Jeff Raucci, also both faculty members at Foran, were excited to see the event take off without a hitch.

“Unified Prom is one of my favorite events of the year,” said Max Berkowitz, Foran High School Principal. “The smiles and pure joy on the faces of our students at this special occasion are priceless. I am so grateful and proud that we are able to host such a wonderful, inclusive event and thankful to all of the staff and students for their enthusiastic participation.”