Each year, sophomores at Rosary Academy are asked to participate in a class-wide outreach in the community.
GUESTS OF ROSARY ACADEMY’S WINTER FORMAL HAVE FUN ON THE DANCE FLOOR.
As part of the annual service project, Rosary’s 2023-24 sophomore class organized and hosted the fourth annual RAD/DSAOC Winter Formal on Dec. 1 at Rosary High School in Fullerton.
RAD and DSAOC are acronyms for Rising Above Disabilities and Downs Syndrome Association of Orange County.
GUESTS WALK THE RED CARPET LEADING TO THE ENTRANCE OF ROSARY ACADEMY’S GYMNASIUM, WHERE A FESTIVE WINTER FORMAL WAS HELD ON DEC. 1.
RAD and DSAOC clients were invited along with clients of the Regional Center of Orange County, which serves individuals of all ages with special needs.
In all, close to 135 guests were invited to the event.
“Rosary Academy’s charism is to ‘serve the dear neighbor without distinction,’” said Elizabeth Flati, Rosary’s director of campus ministry, who oversees the project. “And to be a Rosary Royal is to become a servant leader, often through outreach within the community.”
Prior to the start of the dance, a “glam squad” made over guests with makeup and new hairstyles.
Jemini Bhakta was among the clients receiving a full makeover from the glam squad.
“I just love how everybody is treating her right now and she just loves it,” said Jigisha Bhakta, Jemini’s sister. “They are treating her like a queen. This is the first event we’ve attended, and we are so excited.”
A red carpet leading to the entrance of the gymnasium, which was transformed into a scene from a Christmas fairy tale, was flanked on both sides by rows of students who cheered and high-fived guests as they made their way into the dance.
A D.J. played music and guests danced throughout the evening.
A photo booth was set up in the gym and guests could go outside and enjoy games in the courtyard.
“We’ve been setting up all week and we’re doing hair and makeup and pictures and everything to give them a really fun experience,” sophomore class president Micaela Watson said. “Not everybody gets a chance to work with different people, especially those with disabilities. So, I think it’s really fun to put ourselves into somebody else’s shoes for the night. It’s something that we’ve been looking forward to all year. We’re all really excited it’s finally here.”
Watson stressed the importance of embracing the special qualities that make each person unique.
Reina Sambrano is in charge of recruitment and registration for RAD clients and volunteers and was attending the RAD/DSAOC Winter Formal for the first time.
“I’ve heard about this event for a couple of years now,” Sambrano said, “and have never been able to make it out here before now.”
She continued: “I thought I would come and check it out and it’s amazing. It is an awesome night that’s very inclusive to all of the participants who are coming. I’m so impressed.”
Rosary’s freshmen, junior and senior classes are also required to perform a service project.