A date to remember

2013-05-02T17:44:00Z 2013-05-06T15:12:23Z A date to rememberBy THE NEWS Chippewa Herald
May 02, 2013 5:44 pm  • 

Nominated to prom court, Charlie Gainey of Menomonie will have a special date.

Charlie, the son of Anne and Dan Gainey, will be taking Miss Minnesota USA, Danielle Hooper, to the Menomonie High School prom on Saturday, May 4.

The event will be memorable for both — Charlie, 18, who has Down Syndrome, and Danielle, 20, who appreciates the opportunity to make the young man happy.

Charlie plans to wear his grandfather’s tuxedo. Danielle will have a special dress for the occasion.

The couple will dine at Jake’s Supper Club, participate in the grand march at the high school, then attend the dance at UW-Stout.

Danielle, a junior at UW-Stout, hails from Inver Grove Heights. Minn. She has a special place in her heart for those with special needs, as she has a cousin with Down Syndrome. She learned about Charlie from a co-worker in UW-Stout’s financial aid office, who has a child on the same Special Olympics team as Charlie. The pageant beauty then contacted Miss Minnesota officials for approval to accompany Charlie to prom. Danielle also got approval from her boyfriend, Alex Reisner, 21, of Minnetonka, Minn.

Both local stars put education above all, but still have busy schedules.

Charlie will be competing in the Special Olympics swim meet earlier in the day in Eau Claire on May 4. He is also involved in choir and the school swim team. As one of 10 prom candidates, Charlie is up for the title of prom king.

In addition to retail management studies and her part-time work, Danielle could be wearing a new crown soon. On June 16, she will compete in the Miss USA 2013 pageant.

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