Seniors, teens have a ball at unusual prom

by Colleen Sparks

Publish Date:

Friday, March 16, 2018 12:00 pm EDT

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SanTan Sun News

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It’s not unusual to see teenagers socializing at prom, but a group of them helped some senior citizens to cut a rug at a formal dance.

The Corona del Sol High School Key Club volunteered and organized a senior prom at the Sunrise of Chandler senior living community last month.

The dance featured a DJ, decorations and, of course, dancing.

It was a special way for the Sunrise residents, as well as their family members, Corona teachers and students to mark Valentine’s Day a few days late.

Sunrise offers assisted living, memory care and short-term stays for residents.

Many longtime couples at Sunrise enjoyed celebrating the romantic holiday.

Nancy Jones, who lives as Sunrise with her husband, Roy, said the Senior Prom held a special meaning for them.

“This is how my husband and I met, at a college dance,” Nancy said. “This dance brough back memories.”

Sunrise resident Faye Armstrong was crowned 2018 prom queen by Berneice Ducote, who is 105 years old and was the first Senior Prom queen six years ago.

Nancy Lombroso, activities and volunteer coordinator at Sunrise, crowned Denny Hughes, who also lives at Sunrise, as prom king.

Armstrong and Hughes kicked off the evening by dancing to the song “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” from the movie “Dirty Dancing.” During the second half of the song, everyone else at the event took the dance floor to celebrate.

“It was so special, and I haven’t been the same since that night,” Armstrong said.

Hughes shared Armstrong’s enthusiasm.

“I was excited to dance with the Queen Faye!” he said. “What a wonderful night!”

Energy and laughter filled the air at the prom, where Sunrise residents talked, laughed and danced with the students.

Some Sunrise folks danced with their favorite students all night. The team at Sunrise had to announce “last song” three different times as the young and old dancers didn’t want the fun to end.

“This dance was part of the Sunrise’s Live With Legacy programming,” Lombroso said. “We regularly schedule events like this to encourage mutual cross-generational sharing of talents, skills, experiences and energy.

“The senior prom has become a great tradition at our community, and just one example of the many ways we support our residents in living each day with purpose.”

Lombroso said “engaging with young people can sharpen the bodies and minds of our residents.”

“We also know that our residents have perspective, advice, and so many great stories to share with young people,” he added. “It’s lovely for Sunrise to have relationships with the greater Chandler community.”

This was the sixth consecutive year the Corona Key Club threw the prom for the seniors. The community also participates in other events throughout the year with students from the school.

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