KINGSTON TWP. — When Dallas High School senior Meghan Donahue said yes to Ethan Foote’s prom date proposal, neither of them expected their prom photo would be splashed across the Times Square Megatron in September.
The two quiet 19-year-olds, who have Down syndrome, are eagerly looking forward to being included in the annual video compilation to the kick off National Down Syndrome Awareness Month in October.
The slide show is sponsored by the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS). The project will also promote the Buddy Walk, an annual fundraiser sponsored by the group.
The video will include a selection of 400 photographs collected nationwide. It’s slated to be shown at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 17 on the Times Square Megatron in New York City, said Corinne Foote, Ethan’s mother.
The NDSS video is designed to highlight the talents and capabilities of individuals with Down Syndrome, she said.
Down syndrome is a genetic disorder caused when the 21st chromosome duplicates inside each cell, resulting in physical and cognitive developmental delays. In the United States, one out of 691 infants is born with Down syndrome, according to the NDSS website.
Corinne and Margie Donahue, Meghan’s mother, decided to enter the couple’s prom photo into the NDSS contest. On July 28, they were notified by NDSS that the photo was selected from over 2,000 entries.
“It makes me happy,” Meghan said about the news.
Corinne and Margie are organizing a trip for the families to see the video presentation and then plan to participate in the estimated one-mile Buddy Walk through Central Park in New York City.
NDSS has Buddy Walks scheduled throughout the country, including one at 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2 at Nay Aug Park in Scranton. The national fundraiser provides financial assistance for services used by families with members living with Down syndrome.
“Meghan was able to go to Camp Orchard Hill (in Dallas Township) from funds from The Buddy Walk,” Margie said.
Meghan and Ethan have been friends since preschool, Corinne said. They hang out often and enjoy swimming and playing ping-pong, Corinne said.
Ethan knew how much Meghan wanted to do to the dance, Corinne said. He wore a T-shirt to school that posed the big question,”Will you go to the prom with me,” she said.
“There was a box for yes and a box for no,” Corinne said. “Meghan said yes.”
The couple rode with a group of friends in a limousine to Best Western Genetti Hotel & Conference Center in Wilkes-Barre, Margie said.