A High School Quarterback Took His Friend With Down Syndrome to Prom 7 Years After Promising He Would
Ben Moser and Mary Lapkowicz, 17, became friends in fourth grade. “A lot of grade-school aged kids may have stayed away from my sister Mary or thought she was weird because she has Downs Syndrome [sic],” Mary’s brother, Tom, says. “But not Ben.”
"He watched over her constantly," their fourth grade teacher, Tracey Spogli, told The Patriot-News. "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. He just always watched out for her."
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"I thought Mary was really cool," Ben recalls. "She was sweet and easy to get along with." So at the end of fourth grade, when he attended his cousin’s prom walk, he told his mom that when he was old enough, he was going to ask Mary to prom.
Though they ended up at different schools, with Ben at Susquehanna High School and Mary at Central Dauphin, both in Pennsylvania, they reconnected at a football game between the rival teams, with Ben playing quarterback and Mary helping manage the team. That’s when Ben remembered his promise.
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"I was surprised," Mary says of Ben’s ‘promposal.’ "I was going to go with some friends." As for the school’s rivalry getting in the way? "I don't think it should be too weird," Ben joked. "There [are] good kids there."
Mrs. Spogli even made an appearance at their prom pictures!
“[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,” his mom, Lisa Moser, wrote on Facebook. “With joyful tears in my eyes and down my face I watched a promise made, seven years ago, to a beautiful girl fulfilled.”
Meanwhile, here’s one way to ask Selena Gomez to go to your prom with you: