In fourth grade, Ben Moser told his mother he would be taking Mary Lapkowicz to the prom. Seven years later, it happened. (Photo: Facebook)
A beautiful lavender gown, a friendship that lasted 8 years, and a balloon prom proposal is how Ben Moser and Mary Lapkowicz will always remember their prom night together.
Moser and Lapkowicz, both 17, started their friendship as young children in their fourth grade class. Their teacher at the time, Tracey Spogli, told The Patriot-News hows she remembered how the high school quarterback interacted with Mary, who has down syndrome, in her class. “He would pull her in to whatever activity they were doing. He just always watched out for her.“
In fact, it was in fourth grade when Ben decided who he would be taking to prom with in the future: Mary. At the very end of his fourth grade school year, his mom found out who Mary was and what the two’s special relationship was all about. It was also the time he announced to his mother that one day he would take Mary to prom.
Flash forward to high school and both students are on the football field: Mary assisting her father’s work with the team at Central Dauphin school district, and Ben as the quarterback at neighboring district, Susquehanna.
“She talked about going to prom,” Mary’s father told Penn Live. “I’d taken her to homecoming and stuff, but she had prom on her mind all along.” Little did any of them know that one day last year the two rival teams would cross paths on the football fields — and Ben remembered his promise to take Mary to prom.
“I thought Mary was really cool,” Ben recalls. “She was sweet and easy to get along with.” What more could you want from a prom date? Ben wrote ‘Prom?’ on balloons and surprised Mary, who said she planned on just going with some friends.
Ben’s mother posted photo’s on her Facebook page, explaining her joy “[Ben] has grown into a man with a big heart, a deep sense of putting others first, and most of all making people feel special and loved. With joyful tears in my eyes and down my face I watched a promise made, seven years ago, to a beautiful girl fulfilled.”