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“If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day.” – Jimmy V
BeforeTheTip tries to honor the Great Jimmy V with something that will make you laugh, cry or at least think; and maybe if you’re lucky…all 3
PennLive (Sean Adams): When Mary Lapkowicz and Ben Moser were in fourth grade, their teacher, Tracey Spogli, noticed how hard Ben worked to include Mary, who has Down syndrome, in games and activities.
“He watched over her constantly,” Spogli recalled, as the students posed for photos outside Mary’s home on May 8, 2015. “If she was looking like she wasn’t having fun, he would go over and talk to her. He would pull her in to what ever activity they were doing. He just always watched out for her.”
“I thought Mary was really cool,” said Ben. “She was sweet and easy to get along with.”
“He was sweet and he was nice,” said Mary regarding Ben.
Lisa Moser, Ben’s mother, wasn’t fully aware of Mary and Ben’s special relationship until the year was practically over.
“I didn’t know until fourth grade at the end of the school year party in [Spogli’s] classroom,” Moser said. It was then that she, Spogli and Ann Marie Lapkowicz, Mary’s mother, could finally share with one another what they’d observed throughout the year.
It was around the same time that Ben had been to his cousin’s prom walk. He told his mother that when they were old enough, he would ask Mary to go to prom with him.
But, in sixth grade Mary moved to the Central Dauphin school district, where her father, Tom Lapkowicz, works as a math teacher. By the time Mary reached high school, she was assisting her father’s work with the high school football team as equipment manager.
When Susquehanna and Central Dauphin played one another last year, the two childhood friends crossed paths again. Ben was quick to remember his fourth grade vow.
“She talked about going to prom,” Mary’s father said. “I’d taken her to homecoming and stuff, but she had prom on her mind all along.”
But Mary didn’t know that Ben would follow up on that vow he had made so long ago.
“We got balloons and I wrote ‘prom’ on it,” Ben said. “I presented her with the balloons and asked her to go to prom with me.”