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Perfect Prom: City mayor and county police escort residents to prom

City mayor and county police attend prom

MUNCY — The residents of Ashler Manor’s Group Home and Life Readiness program attended an all-girls prom at the Activities Center on June 19. The girls were escorted by Williamsport’s Mayor Derek Slaughter, two Lycoming County Sheriff deputies, Chris Warden and Luke Motter, and Muncy Township Chief of Police Chris McKibben.

“The fact that law enforcement and the mayor went out of their way to participate in something that was important to our girls shows that the officers really care about the members of our community, not just about enforcing laws,” said LaTricia Scutching, residential therapist at Ashler Manor. “I didn’t just want the girls to interact with law enforcement, I wanted the girls to be empowered by them. Our officers don’t regularly have the opportunity to get involved in these types of events, but it’s important for this to happen if we want to build and maintain lasting relationships and community trust.”

Families United Network, Inc., is dedicated to strengthening families by providing children and youth with a safe, nurturing, community environment through a continuum of services, which focuses on reunification or permanency. Prior to the prom, Ashler Manor staff and students also held a diversity meeting to discuss and process the recent racial tensions, police brutality and how it has been affecting the girls at Ashler Manor.

“During the conversation, I realized that our girls have not had an opportunity to engage with law enforcement and public officials in a positive way. Most of our girls are from big cities where they only interact with police officers when ‘something bad happens,’ “ Scutching said.

During this diversity meeting, one resident disclosed “I’m nervous to be escorted by the police because I have never had a good experience with them, the only interaction my family has had with them is when ‘bad things’ happen,” she said, but despite her nerves she was willing to give it a try. “I have been in a lot of placements before but (Ashler Manor is) where I feel as if I can get the help I need and be more at peace with myself.”

Lycoming County’s community came together to help make this night special for the girls to remember. The American Rescue Workers provided dresses from its thrift store for the students to wear to prom. Cheri’s House of Flowers, of Hughesville, donated sunflowers. iHeart Radio D.J.’ed the event, funding for the D.J. was provided by Laurie Farrar.

Ashler Manor’s Group Home and Life Readiness program is a part of the Families United Network, Inc. (FUN), which provides foster care and permanency services to over 60 counties in Pennsylvania. The Families United Network also provides Adult Day Service and has an Early Learning Child Care Center in Muncy.

For more information about the Families United Network, Inc., call 570-546-6777.

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