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Quarterback takes friend with Down syndrome to prom, fulfilling fourth grade promise

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HARRISBURG, Pa. — A high school quarterback surprised his childhood friend with Down syndrome by keeping a promise he made in fourth grade to take her to prom.

According to the Harrisburg Patriot-News, Mary Lapkowicz and Ben Moser developed a special bond, with Ben always making sure she was involved in what other people were doing.

“He watched over her constantly,” their teacher Tracey Spogli recalled. “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,” Ben told the Patriot-News. “She was sweet and easy to get along with.”

It wasn’t until the end of fourth grade when Ben’s mother, Lisa Moser, and Mary’s mother, Ann Marie Lapkowicz, learned about their friendship from Spogli.

Around that same time, Ben had gone to his older cousin’s prom walk, according to the Patriot-News. He told his mother that when they were old enough, he would ask Mary to prom with him. Ben also made a promise to Mary that he would ask her, according to BuzzFeed.

But, in sixth grade, Mary moved to a different Pennsylvania school. By the time Mary reached Central Dauphin High School, she was assisting her father’s work with the high school football team as equipment manager. Ben, meanwhile, was playing quarterback for rival Susquehanna Township High School.

When Central Dauphin and Susquehanna squared off last fall, Ben and Mary crossed paths again and Ben was quick to remember his childhood vow.

“She talked about going to prom,” Mary’s father Tom Lapkowicz told the Patriot-News. “I’d taken her to homecoming and stuff, but she had prom on her mind all along.”

Ben followed up on his vow recently, presenting Mary with balloons with “prom” written on them and asking her to the dance.

Mary said she was happy and surprised that Ben asked her to prom.

Last week, the two got all dressed up and attended the prom at Mary’s school.

“My heart just overflows with love watching [Ben and Mary] tell the story of their friendship,” Lisa Moser told BuzzFeed.