This high school quarterback made his mom proud. In fact, he set an example for the whole world to follow: do what you think is right, and don’t worry about what your peers think of you.
Especially during our high school years, most of us care about what others think of us and how they regard us. We don’t want to seem different and want to fit in with our peers. And, what we fear most is being laughed at or made fun of.
Here is a touching story of a long-standing friendship and a young man who kept his word. Ben Moser, a quarterback from Susquehanna Township High School did something truly honorable for his childhood friend that has now inspired hundreds of thousands of people.
“There’s nothing wrong with going to the prom with somebody that’s not like everybody else. You should just be who you are and do what’s right and keep your word, just be you,” Ben told Fox43.
Years ago, Ben told his mom he’d take his friend, Mary to the prom when that day came. He asked his mom because Mary has Down Syndrome.
“[T]hat would be one of the proudest things you could ever do,” Ben’s mom, Lisa Moser said, recalling her response to her son’s proposal.
“We were always hanging out on the playground together playing around. I was looking out for her, making sure she playing with everybody,” said Ben, who promised Mary in grade 4 to take her to the prom one day.
Mary’s brother, Tom Lapokwicz wrote on Facebook, “A lot of grade-school aged kids may have stayed away from my sister Mary or thought she was weird because she has [sic] Downs Syndrome. But not Ben.”
He always looked out for her, always made sure to pick her on his team at recess and even made a promise to her in 4th grade to take her to the prom someday
However, in 6th grade, Mary moved to the Central Dauphin school district, where her father, Tom Lapkowicz works as a math teacher.
“We were distant, we went to two different schools, I didn’t have much contact with her,” said Ben.
But years later, they were reconnected on the football field. Ben was Susquehanna Township’s Quarterback, while Mary was the ball-girl for Central Dauphin. When the two schools played each other, they were reunited.
Delighted with meeting Mary again, Ben remembered his childhood promise and decided to give Mary a special ‘promposal’
“We got balloons and I wrote ‘prom’ on it,” Ben told Pennlive. “I presented her with the balloons and asked her to go to prom with me.”
“I was surprised,” Mary said with a smile.
“I thought Mary was really cool,” Ben said, recalling their elementary school life. “She was sweet and easy to get along with.”
“He was sweet and he was nice,” Mary recalled of Ben as a young boy.
Their 4th-grade teacher, Tracey Spogli, was proud of Ben as well. She even went to see them off at Mary’s school before the prom.
“Ben would always keep and eye out for Mary, making sure she was smiling and happy,” the teacher told BuzzFeed News. “I referred to Mary as ‘Little Mary Sunshine’ because she was the sunshine in our classroom. The entire experience of that fourth-grade year was a very positive learning experience for the entire classroom and I am so proud to have been part of it!”
Lisa Moser told BuzzFeed News that she has always taught her children to “put others first, love from their heart and stand up for what they believe in.”
“My heart just overflows with love watching (Ben and Mary) tell the story of their friendship,” Ben’s mom said.
Their story has since gone viral and was shared by countless news agencies and on social media.
But both Ben and Mary’s moms thought Ben wasn’t really concerned with other people’s reactions.
“For him, it was no big deal,” his mom told Pennlive a year after the prom. “He was just doing what was natural and comfortable for him. It’s not just a football quarterback or a girl with Down syndrome, but a friendship that withstood the test of time.”
But for Mary’s brother, Ben “put a smile on Mary’s face & restored [her brother’s] faith in humanity.”