How old must I be to be a buddy?

Do I need background checks if I am under 18?

No, you will not be required to send background checks.

What is the cutoff for background checks?

All volunteers must submit all three clearances by February 2nd, No exceptions.

Will there be volunteer training?

Yes. There will be two training sessions, you only need to attend one, both will be held at:
Riverbend Community Church
795 Roble Road
Allentown, Pa 18109

Sunday January 28th, 2024 after the Sunday gathering, approximately 12:30pm
Thursday February 1st, 2024 at 6:30pm

I volunteered previous years, do I still need to attend the training?

Yes. There are always changes each year and we ask that you attend so you can be fully prepared to give our guests an amazing evening.

What time do we arrive?

If you are arriving with your guest, please arrive no earlier than 5:45pm and check in with them.

All other buddies must check in between 4 and 5pm.

Will there be food available?

Yes. You will be eating in the ballroom with your guest.

Volunteer food is for general volunteers only. Do not eat in the volunteer area.

What should I wear?

This is a prom, we would like to keep the environment prom like. You can wear anything modest from formal wear to business casual, whatever makes you the most comfortable.

What do I do with my personal items during the event?

Please leave as many personal items at home for this event, there is not a separate area to store these.

There will be a coat check. If you arrive with others, please check your coats together, it will save us valuable hanger space for the guests and their families.

Who will I be paired with?

If a guest asked specifically to be paired with you, that is who you will be paired with. The guest/buddy pairing must be initiated by the guest for safety reasons

If you do not have a specific guest to be paired with, you will be paired as guests arrive.

How will I learn about my guest?

You are encouraged to speak to their parent(s) or caregiver. Introduce yourself, ask questions, see if they have any questions for you.

At registration, there will be a printout of your guest’s allergies, sensory issues, dietary issues, please take some time to review and understand for the safety of your guest.

What are my responsibilities?

Please see the team descriptions and/or reach out to your team coordinator to clarify your responsibilities.

What if there is a medical issue with a guest or volunteer?

There is medical staff, EMT and police officers onsite during the entire event. Please see them or a leadership team member for assistance.

I need to use the restroom, what do I do?

Make contact with another volunteer or leader and ask them to hang out with your guest until you return. Never leave a guest alone.

What should I do if my guest is getting overwhelmed or agitated?

There is a sensory room available, try to guide your guest into that area or locate a nurse that can help.

My guest wants to see their parents, what do I do?

We are asking that buddies if at all possible to not go into the Caregiver Lounge as this is a place for respite. Please find another volunteer or leader to go into the Caregiver Lounge and ask your guest’s parents to come into the ballroom.

What do I do at the end of the evening?

Do not leave your guest at the end of the evening until they have their coat, gift bag and are physically reunited with their parents or caregiver.

Is there someone I can reach out to for questions before the event?

Yes, email Andrea - riverbendnts@gmail.com

Event Timeline

  • 5:45 Doors Open for Guest Check in and Buddy meet
  • 6:00 - 8:00 Dinner
  • 8:00 Dessert
  • 6:30 - 8:30 Activities Open
    • Limo Rides
    • Hair and Makeup
    • Shoeshine
    • Karaoke
    • Photo Booth
  • 8:45 Video, Crowning, and Last Dance
  • 9:15-9:30 Gather Belongings and Favors