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Newsday 2019 Project Prom winner Keanu Waters' winning look

Light captures the subtle luster on this striking

Light captures the subtle luster on this striking blue paisley jacket worn with matching pants and brown oxfords. A sharp standout. Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara

Keanu Waters, 17, the Brentwood High School honor student and class president, will head off to prom donning the jazzy “Blue Moon” tuxedo chosen overwhelmingly by Newsday readers (more than 1,000 of you voted). As it turned out, the sapphire blue jacket with a subtle paisley pattern and matching blue pants from Black Tie Tuxedo by Sarno in Farmingdale, just happened to be Waters’ favorite of the three options. (So good job, voters.)  His girlfriend Carolann Torres, 17, also of Brentwood High, will wear a sleek navy blue gown with sparkly metallic details from Estelle’s Dressy Dresses to match the winning look. Newsday is footing the bill for both.

“It was breathtaking to see myself in the article,” Waters says. "Someone recognized me on the street when I was walking into a fast food restaurant and congratulated me.”  And his fame went beyond that.  Teachers reported that the story went viral on their Facebook pages.  And several actually asked him sign copies of his prom story in the paper. He was more than happy to dole out autographs. “ Even New York State Sen. Monica R. Martinez (D-Brentwood), a Brentwood High School alumna, posted Waters' story on her official Facebook page, writing, “This is great!! Love seeing our students doing great things.”

“I’ve been telling everybody how grateful I am for this amazing gesture — the tux, the dress, the hair — but the one thing I’m most proud of is that people learned about A.P.P.L.E. (for Always Promoting Peace Love and Equality) in the story,” says Waters, referring to an organization he started at the school that brings together students of various races, ethnicities and religions. “And it’s really good to have some positive publicity about Brentwood, too.”

His mom, Shireen Dajani, said that she and her son “have been floating on cloud nine all week. I can’t wipe the smile off my face.” And she broke a little news of her own. “You know he’s been nominated for Prom King, right?” He’ll find out if he wins it at his prom on May 31 at Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury. One thing is certain: He’ll be wearing blue.

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