Teen gets McDreamy prom

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 17, 2011

By Sarah Campbell
SALISBURY — Pauletta Karmon has her own pair of fairy godmothers, McDonald’s managers Samantha Dodson and Jessica Laws.
The women transformed Karmon’s dream of going to her senior prom into reality in Cinderella-esque fashion last week.
The 18-year-old had been planning to skip out on the high school experience altogether because of expenses, but Dodson and Laws decided to dip into their own pockets to help one of their most reliable employees.
“I didn’t have enough money to go because I have so many bills to pay. I couldn’t afford a dress,” Karmon said.
Dodson shelled out about $250 on Karmon’s shimmering electric-blue dress from Maia’s Fashion and a corsage to match.
“She’s the type of person that would do anything for you and she really wanted to go to prom,” Dodson said. “I just told her that if she really wanted to go I would do this for her.”
Laws chipped in to pay for the tuxedo rental and boutonniere for Karmon’s date, Paul Bailey, a fellow McDonald’s employee that the women found to take her to prom.
“She told me she couldn’t afford it and didn’t have a date so we worked out both for her,” Laws said. “She’s such a hard worker, she comes in early, stays late and comes in on her days off.
“I felt like we needed to do something to show her how much we appreciate her.”
Karmon has juggled school and a full time work schedule at McDonald’s at the Ruscho on Jake Alexander for the past three years.
Bailey was excited to attend his first prom Saturday with Karmon by this side.
“I told her it would be my pleasure to take her out and show her a good time for the night,” he said.
Karmon said when she found out that Dodson and Laws were going to foot the bill for her to go the prom she was surprised.
“It just really made me cry,” she said. “I was so excited.”
Dodson said as someone who missed her own prom she didn’t want Karmon to have the same regret.
“I’ve always dreamed about going to prom,” she said. “It makes me feel better to be able to help her because it’s something she talked about all the time.”
Laws said she still remembers her prom and didn’t want Karmon to miss out on that memory.
“It’s part of the senior experience,” she said.
Karmon, who graduated from West Rowan early in January, said the night capped off her senior year perfectly.
“It was really fun, I had a good time” she said. “I felt like I was in Paris and that was the theme of the prom.”
Mozell Karmon, said it meant the world to her to be able to see her daughter go to prom, especially because living on a fixed income made it impossible for her to afford.
“I’m forever in their debt because I didn’t have the money at this time,” she said. “I’m just filled with joy.”
Pauletta Karmon said she’ll never forget the kindness Dodson and Laws showed her.
“My grandma always told me it takes a village to raise a child and my McDonald’s family came through.”
Contact reporter Sarah Campbell at 704-797-7683.