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Former rodeo princess asks local boy with special needs to prom

“Ian, you’d be a trooper if you’d go to prom with me??”That’s what former Whoopee Days Rodeo Princess Shiane Ritchie wrote on a poster and took to Ian Taow dressed in an authentic stormtrooper costume on Thursday.

Ritchie prefaced this surprise by decorating Ian’s room on Tuesday with a poster reading, “R4 is Red. R2 is Blue. The Galaxy Has A Surprise 4 You!”
She also made him a cake with the message, “IAN, The Force has a big Surprise for you!”Ritchie said she decided to ask Ian because she wanted to make sure he knew he was special.

“I have a special place in my heart for autistic kids because of this little boy named Charly I’ve known my whole life, and I wanted to make sure Ian knew he was special too,” said Ritchie. “Ian loves Star Wars, so I thought that would be a cool way to ask him!”

All the planning and preparation paid off when she saw Ian’s face.

“It was great. I felt as if I just changed his whole life and made him feel like he’s not different than anyone else,” said Ritche.

You can catch the two on the dance floor at the Special Needs Prom at the Pinecrest Event Center on May 5.

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