Family throws teenage couple an unforgettable prom night

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, April 29, 2020

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LAPLACE – St. Charles Catholic senior Chelsea Duhon didn’t get to wear the perfect prom dress or dance the night away with friends. But she did get an unforgettable surprise on what would have been her prom night, complete with decorations, photos and a romantic candlelit dinner for two.

Chelsea and her mother, Kodi Duhon, watched a Disney movie that sparked a big idea. When the kids in the movie learned they couldn’t have a prom night, they threw a “morp” (prom spelled backwards) instead.

Kodi Duhon decided that was exactly what her daughter needed to end senior year with a smile on her face. Enlisting the help of kindhearted neighbors, she worked to make the night a wonderful surprise for Chelsea and her boyfriend, Dylan Frickey.

The two have been self-isolating for weeks to comply with social distancing, and being able to finally see each other made their special night that much sweeter.

“They couldn’t believe that we had done that for them,” Duhon said. “Nothing could make up for the fact that they missed their senior prom, but I think this was a positive memory that they’ll have during this time and that they will hopefully always remember. I’m showing her I can still do things to make her feel important even though they can’t happen at school.”

Plans for the big surprise started when Duhon and her neighbor gathered decorations for the morp – streamers, posters and table décor. Chelsea was spending the day outside at her grandparents’ house, and Duhon told her she needed to be home for 5 p.m. because someone was bringing her a gift.

Chelsea was recently adopted by community members on the “Adopt a 2020 Senior – River Parishes edition” Facebook group, and she was led to believe the surprise was related to that. As she received further instructions to look presentable, she started to suspect the surprise involved her boyfriend.

“I told her put on a cute outfit, a little bit of makeup, do something with your hair because we all have the quarantine look these days,” Duhon said. “She kept telling my son that she knew it was Dylan coming over.”

Chelsea’s younger brother, 14-year-old Chase Duhon, wanted to throw her off the trail. He came up with an idea to dress up nice, ring the doorbell and surprise his sister with a bouquet of flowers to make up for her missed prom night. The distraction worked, and Chelsea was grateful for the gesture.

Fifteen minutes later, Dylan knocked on the door. The night was a surprise for him, too.

“All he was told was that Chelsea was having a rough day and was upset they couldn’t go to prom. He was told to dress nice and that I had a cake for him to bring her to make her feel better,” Duhon said. “Chelsea was so excited, she jumped into his arms.”

Chelsea and Dylan were guided to the backyard to take prom photos and see their dinner set-up. They enjoyed a home-cooked chicken parmesan meal and reflected on how grateful they were to have a missed opportunity made into something special.

“I had no idea. When they revealed it, I was in shock. I was full of excitement,” Chelsea said. “Even though it wasn’t a dance, it was a nice dinner for me and my date. We are making the best of this whole situation. You can still have fun, even in quarantine.”

Chelsea is grateful that online learning opportunities have kept her in touch with her teachers. She will soon attend beauty school, and she’s well prepared after receiving aprons, brushes and other essential tools from community members who have gone above and beyond to celebrate the Class of 2020.