The Conway Human Development Center held its first ever Valentine's Day prom on Wednesday.
Ginger Holliman, a 39-year-old resident, was named Prom Queen and 16-year-old Logan Wooten was named Prom King.
Wooten said, using American Sign Language (ASL), that walking into the Ed Jennings Gymnasium and seeing all the lights and decorations was an amazing feeling.
Being crowned as king made him "very happy," he said.
Caregiver Erica Holland, a teacher assistant on the shelter living team, said Holliman also enjoyed being recognized at Wednesday's Valentine's Day event.
"I had a good time ... I'm happy to be queen," Holland said as she interpreted Holliman's recollection of the crowning ceremony.
Holland said the atmosphere was lively during the Valentine's Day dance, noting the event posed as the first formal many of the residents had ever attended.
"It was exciting to see them getting all dressed up," she said as she looked to Holliman, noting the Prom Queen "was happy to be able to put on makeup for the day."
Quality Assurance Coordinator Teresa Bailey said the event provided residents and staff with a new way to connect with one another.
Wednesday's event allowed for staff to interact in a formal setting, allowing them to form new connections and make new friends, Bailey said.
The prom was a "special event" that stood apart from other activities held at CHDC because it allowed the residents to be a part of a formal event.
"All the residents had so much fun dressing up and the staff had just as much fun helping them to dress up and look their best," she said. "It's been a wonderful event for us. It was our first prom and to see the success of having as many individuals as we had come and [seeing] them dancing ... out there [and] enjoying themselves [was amazing]."
Many residents have never had an opportunity to participate in or attend an event like this before, Bailey said.
"Just having the opportunity to dress up and be at an event like this [is a big deal for many residents] because some of them didn't get that while they were in high school," she said. "This is a wonderful chance for them."
Resident Casey Morningstar, using his brand new communication device that he had installed onto his wheelchair Tuesday, said he enjoyed being able to attend Wednesday's prom.
The 29-year-old resident said his favorite part of the entire event was getting to dress up.
Superintendent Sarah Murphy said CHDC plans to make the Valentine's Day Prom an annual event.
"It was so fun to see the men and ladies get excited about dressing up for the big event," she said. "This will definitely be an annual event and we are already planning next year."