Friends and Neighbors: OPRF Best Buddies head to the prom

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By David Pierini

Staff Photographer

Maggie Blaha and Madeline Voigt Crane may have been brought together by the Oak Park and River Forest High School Best Buddies program, but to Maggie, Madeline is just a good friend.

The program, which pairs mainstream students with students with disabilities, held its Best Buddies prom Saturday and Maggie made sure her good friend went in style.

Maggie, 18, brought over some dresses for Madeline, 17, braided her hair, helped with makeup and talked about the music and dancing that often brings them together.

At the prom, they posed for pictures with frilly props and rarely stopped dancing.

"We sing a lot," said Maggie, the program's student president. Madeline is partial to the Cheetah Girls. "It's like any other friendship. [The program] is just a great experience. We all grow and I've learned a lot about myself."


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Craig Peterson from La Grange Park  

Posted: April 22nd, 2013 3:32 PM

What a great story, since I rarely see the actual "print" edition I hope this is front and center in that one. The best buddies program is outstanding, these kids (both the "mainstream" and "disabled") really get it. Kudo's to all participants who are the mentors/mainstream kids that volunteer their time. We need more news like this in the local paper. Job well done Maggie and friends.

Desta Wenzloff from Oak Park  

Posted: April 20th, 2013 9:49 AM

This is a great story! I have a child in Best Buddies in the middle school. She loves it, and it is great to see that the program continues in a very meaningful and enriching way at OPRF.

Sharon from Oak Park  

Posted: April 19th, 2013 9:25 PM

What a great story! Should be "front and center" in our community news!

Jessica Mackinnon from Oak Park  

Posted: April 19th, 2013 4:34 PM

We are blessed to live in such a special community, with young people who want to make the world a better place for all!

Lourdes from Oak Park  

Posted: April 18th, 2013 12:32 PM

Beautiful! Great captures David!

Paz from Oak Park   

Posted: April 17th, 2013 12:57 PM

I just love to see this kind of news, congratulation! to the girls!

Whitney Gravely from Oak Park  

Posted: April 17th, 2013 11:33 AM

My daugher Ryan went to the Prom for the first time this year. She had a ball with her two Buddies Nora and Megan. It is such a wonderful event for the students and all of the Buddies are so great. We took lots of pictures!!!

OPRF Mom  

Posted: April 17th, 2013 10:03 AM

You look beautiful Madeline! What a fun evening for everyone.

OP Dad  

Posted: April 16th, 2013 11:17 PM

This is great! I'm sure both lives with be enriched by their friendship!

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