A 17-year-old quarterback from Pennsylvania recently fulfilled a promise he made in elementary school to his friend who has Down syndrome.
Ben Moser, a junior at Susquehanna Township High School in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was in the fourth grade when he told his mom that he would take his friend, Mary Lapkowicz, to prom when they were old enough (video below).
"He watched over her constantly," the teens’ fourth-grade teacher, Tracey Spogli, told The Patriot-News. "If she was looking like she wasn't having fun, he would go over and talk to her. He would pull her in to whatever activity they were doing. He just always watched out for her.”
When Lapkowicz was in sixth grade, she transferred to the Central Dauphin school district, where her father works as a math teacher -- and as the eqipment manager for the school's football team. Lapkowicz helps her father by working as an assistant.
Moser and Lapkowicz ended up crossing paths again when their schools’ football teams played each other in a game last year, and Moser decided to follow up on the promise he made so many years ago.
"We got balloons and I wrote 'prom' on it," Moser said. "I presented her with the balloons and asked her to go to prom with me."
The friends attended Moser’s prom together on Friday.
“I thought Mary was really cool,” Moser said. “She was sweet and easy to get along with.”
Lapkowicz said the same of her longtime friend.
In the video filmed by Patriot-News, Moser said that Down syndrome has never impacted their friendship.
“You should just be who you are and do what’s right. Simple,” he said.