NEW YORK CITY, NY (April 10, 2012) – Marcus Crone was stunned Monday morning on national television when “Good Morning America” named him a winner of the Disney Memory Maker contest for his act of kindness, in which he invited a young woman with Downs Syndrome to prom last spring after she had been turned down by several other teens.
He and his mother, Stephanie, were part of the crowd outside the taping of the show when he and several others were called to step forward and then told they had been named winners and awarded a trip to Disney World.
One of the show’s hosts, George Stephanopoulos, then told Crone, “Your story is so amazing. You had us all just welled up.” Then the host said he had another surprise. The young woman, Chelsea McComb, and her mother, Mary, appeared from the crowd, and ran to hug Crone.
In a videotaped segment recorded before the presentation, Chelsea said the prom “was the best moment in my entire life.” Click here to view more.
“He made her feel like Cinderella that night,” said Mary, adding that her daughter had never had a date. “When they walked out to the car, I truly, truly don’t believe her feet touched the ground.”
Crone, who did not know he had been nominated, was chosen from among several thousand entries. Another member of the Crossroads congregation nominated him.
Crone’s mother, Stephanie, was in on the ruse to get him to New York City. She told her son nearly two months ago that she had won a contest called Whisk Your Mom Away that awarded her the opportunity to travel and take a family member. The two were treated to limousine service, tickets to live performances, and to Good Morning America.
In an interview this morning, Crone, a former high school state wrestling champion, said, “It was a blessing for me to be able to have the opportunity to take Chelsea to the prom. We danced the entire time. It was so much fun.”
Crone says he hopes it can be arranged for Chelsea and her family to travel to Disney World with his family.
The North Park student hopes to delay his sophomore year by serving in Asia, Africa, and South America with Adventures in Mission. Crossroads Pastor Russell Blake said, “Marcus has just been just a key kid in our youth group prior to going to North Park. He would champion youth group Bible study and bring kids left and right.”