You can only imagine the excitement Mary Lapkowicz felt as she waited for her prom date to arrive. The big day had finally come. It’s a joyous time for any teen, but for this young couple the date had even more significance.
Lapkowicz, who was born with Down’s syndrome, went to an elementary school in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. It was here that she met her future prom date, Ben Moser. So began their heartwarming tale of friendship.
The pair met way back in second grade. Moser noticed that some of the other kids failed to include Lapkowicz in their activities, so he decided to befriend her.
One particular incident sealed their friendship. While playing soccer Moser realized that Lapkowicz had been left out. He stopped the game and made sure she had a chance to score. By fourth grade the two were firm friends.
“I thought Mary was really cool,” Moser told PennLive.com. “She was sweet and easy to get along with.” The pair’s friendship was soon noticed by Tracey Spogli, their fourth-grade teacher.
“He watched over her constantly,” Spogli explained to the news provider. “If she was looking like she wasn’t having fun, he would go over and talk to her. He would pull her in to whatever activity they were doing.”
One day in fourth grade Moser made Lapkowicz a promise. Seven years later, he said, she would be his prom date. To a fourth grader, though, seven years is a very long time.
By sixth grade, however, everything had changed. Lapkowicz transferred to Central Dauphin, another Harrisburg school district, while Moser was based a few miles across town in Susquehanna. This split, sadly, put their friendship on hold.
Years passed, but the pair’s paths were destined to cross once more, and all thanks to a football game. As it happened the match couldn’t have been scheduled at a better time.
Moser, who went on to secure Susquehanna’s quarterback position, excelled on the football field. That’s some serious cool points, right there.
Lapkowicz, meanwhile, had got involved with Central Dauphin’s football team. In fact, she helped out her dad, the squad’s equipment manager.
The two school districts were eventually scheduled to play each other, which meant that Lapkowicz and Moser would be reunited after years apart. Amazingly, he hadn’t forgotten the promise he’d made in fourth grade.
Moser made a real effort to make his proposal as poignant as possible. “We got balloons and I wrote ‘prom’ on it,” he told PennLive.com. “I presented her with the balloons and asked her to go to prom with me.”
The gesture came as quite a shock to a clearly touched Lapkowicz. “I was surprised,” she told the news website. “I was going to go with some friends.”
Lapkowicz was clearly excited, and so was her family. Certainly, her brother Tom took to Facebook to express his gratitude to Moser, whose soon-to-be fulfilled promise would surely never be forgotten.
“He always looked out for her,” the sibling wrote. “[He] even made a promise to her in fourth grade to take her to the prom someday.” And that day had finally arrived.
Another Tom Lapkowicz, Mary’s dad, said that going to prom was something his daughter had always dreamed of. “I’d taken her to homecoming and stuff,” he told PennLive.com, “But she had prom on her mind all along.”
When the big day arrived in May 2015 Lapkowicz, in her lavender dress, looked beautiful. Moser, with his matching waistcoat and tie, also looked the part. The evening, by the looks of it, couldn’t have gone any better.
With her prom dream having come true there’s just one other thing that Lapkowicz wants. “The only thing we are still hopeful for is Nick Jonas contacting Mary since that is her favorite musician,” her mom Lisa told BuzzFeed.
Whether or not the Jonas brother gets in touch, Lapkowicz and Moser’s story shows that true friendship knows no boundaries. The latter’s gesture has moved millions around the world, but more importantly it meant that one prom queen could fulfil a lifelong dream.