Teens at Children's National Hospital Celebrate at Dunkin' Prom

Teen patients and friends celebrate 2024 Dunkin Prom in the Children's National Healing Garden

Sparkling lights. Smiling faces. Beautiful gowns and sophisticated suits. On May 22, the Bunny Mellon Healing Garden transformed into a glowing dance party for more than 60 patients at Children’s National. The teens and their guests danced, smiled, snapped photos and mingled at the second annual event funded by the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation.

Donations from local non-profit Once Upon a Prom helped the prom-goers feel special in hand-selected formalwear.

The event was particularly meaningful for patients who missed their school proms or other milestone events with their peers because of illness or injury. Others celebrated the community they found through care at the hospital.

“Unfortunately, I was unable to make it to my own prom so this is incredible to be here tonight,” said Nasir, 20. “I've spent a lot of time getting treatment at Children’s National. It’s been amazing to see everyone come out for one special night.”

Mason, 13, who had open-heart surgery at Children’s National after he was born and has received care at the hospital throughout his life, returned to the iHeart Media DJ booth, along with DJ Osh (Josh Markovitz). Together, they filled the beautiful outdoor space with music, light and laughter.

“The night was filled with dancing, special treats, happy tears and countless unforgettable moments,” said Alyssa Ledbetter, an activity coordinator at the hospital. “It was heartwarming to see the joy and sense of normalcy this event brought to our teen patients.”

Children’s National is grateful to the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation for sponsoring this memorable event. Additional thanks to Turner Construction, Once Upon a Prom, Kona Ice, Men’s Wearhouse, Cap City Booths, Kendra Scott, iHeartMedia and DJ Osh, TruStage, Truist Bank and staff and volunteers at Children’s National who all helped bring the magic of prom to our patients.

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