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About Sickkids
About SickKids

July 10, 2013

SickKids teens rocked the red carpet at Hollywood-themed prom event

By Nino Meese-Tamuri

Teen patients and their friends dancing the night away.

The fifth annual prom-inspired party at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) was a blockbuster hit. This year’s edition of the After Hours Exclusive Teen Event received raving reviews from the about 80 teen patients and friends who celebrated the teen milestone at SickKids on Friday, July 5.  

See video from our event.

While the rest of the hospital was winding down for the night, teenage patients and their guests hit the red carpet and enjoyed a night unlike any other at SickKids. For those who may have missed out on this coming-of-age milestone for health reasons, this prom party created lasting memories.

“It was an amazing event,” says SickKids patient Kayla Johnston, 17, with a big smile. “It allowed us to just be teenagers again.” Kayla shared this first prom experience with her date Callum Mullen, 16, who she met at SickKids while they were both inpatients.  

This year’s Hollywood theme transformed the Hospital’s Rotunda into a glamorous red carpet event complete with a Walk of Fame and the iconic Hollywood sign as a backdrop. Teens goofed around at the photo booth and enjoyed the candy buffet, sparkling juice and collected swag bags – just like the stars. Like real Hollywood celebrities, the teens got the full A-list treatment. There was a dedicated team of professionals taking care of their makeup, hair, nails and accessories; preparing them for a night on the dance floor where they danced and mingled with each other as well as with famous athletes and entertainers. The night’s music was provided by crowd favourite and SickKids patient Alex Salmon aka “DJ Skinnzy” who returned for his third year at this event.

Toronto FC players in tuxedos handed out corsages to the ladies and “threw it down” in a special dance off with the “On the Floor” dance crew. The dance battle was a big hit with the crowd. “That was by far my favourite part of the night,” said Kayla.

“We wanted to make sure that teens who may have missed their own high school prom for health reasons do not miss out on this traditional rite of passage,” said Susie Petro, Child Life Specialist at SickKids and one of the event organizers. “By bringing patients all together in one spot, they share their stories and realize that they are not alone in their health journey. Every year, we see lasting friendships emerge out of these events.”

The After Hours Exclusive Teen Event was created in 2009 by SickKids’ Child Life Department, which aims to promote a positive hospital experience for children and teens through special events, encouraging self-expression, therapeutic play, easing anxiety and enhancing coping strategies.

The event was made possible through the Storfer Dream Delivery program and Calvin Klein. Thanks to the generosity of the Storfer family’s Turning Dreams Into Memories Endowment Fund. The program provides unique opportunities for chronic and long-term patients at SickKids.