Typically, when a young man asks a young woman to be his date at the school homecoming, it goes something like this: “Hey, you wanna go to homecoming with me?” Pretty straight-forward. And completely without any hint of romantic intiative whatsoever. Really drab, guys. But there’s one guy out there who wanted to really surprise that special someone in his life and let everyone else in the school know just how much he cares for her. Nineteen-year-old David Matthew Cowan is a student from Seminole High School in Sanford, Florida. He has Down Syndrome. And he has a really big crush on one of the school’s cheerleaders.
Her name is Saris Marie Garcia. She’s 18, and a model who has already walked runways in New York, Orlando and Puerto Rico. And she, too, has Down Syndrome.
So during a football game one evening this past September, David, a senior, held onto a big sign as he ran down to the area where the cheerleaders were performing. As he approached the group of cheerleaders, they all stopped and watched him, and they watched Saris. And as soon as Saris spotted David and his sign… and balloons… and a bouquet of flowers, she just lit up. David’s sign, framed with yellow flowers, asked: “Will you be my sunshine to homecoming?”
When David got close enough to Saris, she grabbed the sign from him and read it with a big smile. Then, David dropped down to one knee and officially asked her to the homecoming dance, which occurred in late September. When she gleefully agreed to be his date, he gently kissed her on the hand, just like a true prince would. And those in the stands at the ball game, as well as the other cheerleaders, broke into applause. It was a great moment for them to witness.
And David acknowledged their applause by raising his arms triumphantly into the air. The video capturing this moment went viral, with nearly 300,000 views.
The homecoming dance was magical for both David and Saris. They especially enjoyed being named a very special couple by the principal during the dance. And just to let you know, that crush that David has had for Saris is not really a new thing. They have known each other ever since they were about 3 years old, when they were in speech therapy class. And their great relationship grew from there. But even still, romantic surprises like David’s at the ball game is never a bad thing. And all of us, guys, should learn from that.