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June 10, 2014 at 12:41 PM

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Northwest's Child's third annual prom


LINDSEY WASSON / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Paula Thomas, top left, and Kim's mom Susie Routh look on as John Sakaley helps Kim Routh, 33, dance in her wheelchair during Northwest's Child's holds its third annual prom at Kirkland's Northlake Universal Unitarian Church on Saturday, June 7, 2014. Thomas was picking up her daughter Mattie, while Sakaley was picking up his daughter Chrissie, in the flower print dress. Founded in 1991, Northwest's Child is a non-profit agency serving youth and adults with a range of physical or developmental disabilities, providing day care, vocational and educational programs for its students.

Last Saturday the non-profit agency Northwest's Child held its annual prom at Kirkland's Northlake Universal Unitarian Church, complete with dinner, cake and a "Frozen" theme. Though this is their third year in a row putting on a prom, "it's still hard to get the parents to leave," Executive Director Darcy Doyle-Hupf said. After dropping their kids off, she says, they just want to stay--because it's still such a special event for everyone.

Northwest's Child serves children and adults with a range of developmental or physical disabilities through a combination of day care, educational and vocational programs. Doyle-Hupf, then a home day care provider, founded Northwest's Child in 1991 after she struggled to find placement for a 13-year-old boy named Max, who had severe autism and Down's syndrome. They now have locations in Seattle, Bothell, Edmonds and Kirkland.

As is becoming tradition, several students stopped by the Northwest's Child Seattle location on the afternoon of prom to get gussied up with the help of staff and volunteers. Piles of products, from glitzy nail polish to curlers and lipstick, lined the tables as everyone bustled to get ready. Then they were off to prom in Kirkland to join other students for dinner before heading onto the dance floor.

Like most proms, it took time for some students to get into the dancing mood. But thanks to encouraging staff members and fellow students, soon they were busting moves so animated they literally stopped the music. Spinning tunes that ranged from Disney classics to the Cha Cha Slide, volunteer DJ Earl Manlangit had to get a little creative as bouncing dance steps would cause his turntables to skip. Many students would whirl around in more-inclusive circles, often linked together by a volunteer.

And at the end of the night, when parents started arriving, they couldn't help but join in.

LINDSEY WASSON / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Evan Douthitt,15, opting for more casual prom wear, breaks out some expert dance moves in the middle of the floor at Northlake Universal Unitarian Church in Kirkland on Saturday, June 7, 2014.

LINDSEY WASSON / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Darcy Doyle-Hupf, Northwest's Child's founder, laughs as Becky Shook, 29, who has autism, starts to purse her lips while having lipstick applied at their Seattle location on Saturday, June 7, 2014.

LINDSEY WASSON / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Volunteer Kathryn Parker, center, helps Ivy Li, 17, apply some foundation as Sasha Ortiz, 35, left, Briauna Hulse, 23, Addie Morton, 26, and Jocelyn LaRose, 17, wait to take the van from Northwest's Child's Seattle location to prom at Kirkland's Northlake Universal Unitarian Church on Saturday, June 7, 2014.

LINDSEY WASSON / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Max Watts, 28, who has developmental delays, laughs with former staffer and volunteer Kathryn Parker, right, as staff member Jessica LaChapelle swoops in to help them figure out how to take a selfie during dinner before prom at Kirkland's Northlake Universal Unitarian Church on Saturday, June 7, 2014.

LINDSEY WASSON / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Northwest's Child founder and executive director Darcy Doyle-Hupf takes the hand of Max Watts, 28, as they dance together during prom at Kirkland's Northlake Universal Unitarian Church on Saturday, June 7, 2014.

LINDSEY WASSON / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Addie Morton, 26, sits against the wall, reluctant to join the dancing, as volunteer Kathryn Parker dances with Michael Ralph, 32, during Northwest's Child's third annual prom at Kirkland's Northlake Universal Unitarian Church on Saturday, June 7, 2014.

LINDSEY WASSON / THE SEATTLE TIMES

From left, staff member Joseph Ulrigg dances to the Cha Cha Slide with Ivy Li, 17, as staff member Jessica LaChapelle and Addie Morton, 26, laugh together in the background Kirkland's Northlake Universal Unitarian Church during the Northwest's Child third annual prom on Saturday, June 7, 2014.

LINDSEY WASSON / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Staff member Lindsey Holley and Joey Joseph, 25, pose for a prom photo as Nathan Hauk, left, 26, Sam Buswell, 23, and Mattie Thomas, 23, take a break from dancing as Northwest's Child holds its third annual prom at Kirkland's Northlake Universal Unitarian Church on Saturday, June 7, 2014.

LINDSEY WASSON / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Ivy Li, 17, runs into a hug with DJ Earl Manlangit, whose day job is at Boeing, as he takes a second away from the turntables during Northwest's Child's third annual prom at Kirkland's Northlake Universal Unitarian Church on Saturday, June 7, 2014.

LINDSEY WASSON / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Erin Keim holds Kim Routh's hands as they dance together from their seats at Northwest's Child's third annual prom at Kirkland's Northlake Universal Unitarian Church on Saturday, June 7, 2014.

For more photos, visit the gallery.

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