Two central Kentucky kids with heartbreaking bond go to prom together

Published: Apr. 28, 2019 at 11:49 PM EDT
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Two seven-year-old friends with a heartbreaking bond went together Saturday to a special prom that was just for kids.

Jameelah El-Amin's father, Kwame El-Amin, 42, was one of five people shot during an annual basketball tournament at Douglass Park in Lexington in 2015. He died four days later.

Kay-Jon Wilkerson's father, Myron Wilkerson, 37, was fatally shot on Dakota Street in Lexington. That shooting was the city's first homicide of 2018.

"Their fathers were both murdered in gun violence and I just wanted their legacies to live on, you know?" said Jameelah's mom, Philicia Segar.

Both kids were dressed to the nines in UK blue for the Forever Young Children's Prom, held at the Lyric Theatre in Lexington.

"She was very excited just to get dressed up and get her hair done, nails," said Segar. "She's a girly girl."

"He's been asking all week 'Is it today? Is it today?' so now it's the day," said Keesha Turpin, Kay-Jon's mom.

Damon Davenport, Jr. said he and his wife started the prom three years ago.

"It's a time where kids in the community can actually come out and just be a kid, play dress-up for a day and meet other kids in the community," said Davenport.

Kids ran and played in a room full of balloons while a DJ played popular tunes.

Davenport said the event is designed to be a break from what for many kids is a hard reality and to show them that there are people in the world that care.

"To let them know that there's more than just violence, you know?" said Davenport. "You can still be a kid and you can still come out and have a good time and meet other kids from different walks of life in different communities and just put all that to the side."

Kay Turpin, Kay-Jon's grandmother, said both children are "too young to understand" what happened to their fathers.

"I hope people see this and when you see these children with their parents that you all give them love, to know what they've been through in life, and continue praying for these little ones that have experienced this and don't understand," Kay Turpin said.