Quarterback Makes 4th-Grade Promise to Girl With Down Syndrome—7 Yrs Later, He Runs into Her Again…

Big time football jocks often get the stereotype of being jerks, but not Ben Moser.

In fourth grade, Ben began to form a special bond with Mary Lapkowicz, a girl in his class who had Down Syndrome. Their teacher, Tracey Spoglie, even noticed how Ben would go out of his way to include Mary in classroom activities and games.

“He watched over her constantly,” said Spoglie. “If she was looking like she wasn’t having fun, he would go over and talk to her. He would pull her in to what ever activity they were doing. He just always watched out for her.”

“I thought Mary was really cool,” said Ben. “She was sweet and easy to get along with.”

Around the same time that he was forming his special friendship with Mary, Ben attended his cousin’s prom walk. It was then that he told his mom that when they were older, he was going to ask Mary to prom.

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In 6th grade, it seemed the 2 may be going their separate ways when Mary moved away to the Central Dauphin school district where her dad worked as a teacher. When she got to high school, Mary started helping her dad as the equipment manager for the high school football team.

In the meantime, Ben had went on to be the star quarterback at Susquehanna.

It wasn’t until the Central Dauphin and Susquehanna football teams played each other last year that the two old friends ran into each other again, this time as 17-year-old juniors. Flooded by childhood memories, Ben quickly remembered the promise he made back in fourth grade.

“She talked about going to prom,” said Mary’s father. “I’d taken her to homecoming and stuff, but she had prom on her mind all along.”

Mary had no clue that Ben would actually follow up on the vow that he made so many years ago, but she was in for quite the surprise.

“We got balloons and I wrote ‘prom’ on it,” said Ben. “I presented her with the balloons and asked her to go to prom with me.”

“I was surprised,” said Mary with a huge smile. “I was going to go with some friends.”

The two had an absolute blast together and took the most adorable photoshoot in their chic matching lavender outfits.

Soon after, Mary’s brother Tom shared a post to Facebook that has warmed the hearts of many across the web. He wrote:

“A lot of grade-school aged kids may have stayed away from my sister Mary or thought she was weird because she has Downs Syndrome. But not Ben. He always looked out for her, always made sure to pick her on his team at recess and even made a promise to her in 4th grade to take her to the prom someday. 7 years later, he made good on that promise and in the process put a smile on Mary’s face & restored my faith in humanity. Have a great time at the prom you two!”


We love seeing chivalrous men like Ben step up to the plate by keeping a promise he could have so easily sloughed off as a petty childhood whim. Thanks for showing us that there are still great young guys out there willing to go above and beyond to show a lady exactly what she’s worth. Mary is certainly a gem, and we’re so glad you treated her like the diamond she is!
Kelsey Straeter
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Kelsey is an editor at Outreach. She’s passionate about fear fighting, freedom writing, and the pursuit of excellence in the name of crucifying perfectionism. Glitter is her favorite color, 2nd only to pink, and 3rd only to pink glitter.