Student-athletes and staff from Missouri Southern State University recently teamed up with Easy Living Inc. to host a prom for its residents inside North End Zone Facility.

Easy Living Inc. provides services to adults with developmental disabilities in Joplin, Springfield and El Dorado. They provide individualized supported living, day habilitation and home skills, and provide personal assistants.

Student-athletes at MSSU were on hand and accompanied the individuals at the dance.

“It was very rewarding to serve the folks at Easy Living and make the night all about them,” said Sam Kohrs, senior elementary education major and president of Missouri Southern’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. “By the end of the night, athletes, staff and clients of Easy Living all stepped out of their comfort zone and danced like nobody was watching.”

Last year, the same event helped earn recognition for the Athletic Department as a finalist for the NCAA Division II Award of Excellence. That award earned the MSSU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee a $500 prize, which the group then put into the operating of this year’s event.

Each year, Division II selects one finalist from each conference and one independent representative to be recognized for events that exemplify any of the six Division II attributes: learning, balance, resourcefulness, sportsmanship, passion and service.

“The Easy Living Prom has become such a special event for us and our athletes,” said Randon Coffey, director of marketing and corporate sponsorship at MSSU. “Throughout the year our athletes complete more than 4,000 community service hours and this event is just one more way that our athletes are able to give back. It is such an honor to be able to host it here on campus and the athletes have a great time getting to interact with such a special group of people.”