A prom for the ages

The Prom Queen and King pose for a photo with Interact Club members — from left: Max Paulsen, Victoria Barron, Hank Preston, Rich Schutt, Mylene Lamassen, Victoria Narvaez, and Kyle McQuillen.

The Prom Queen and King pose for a photo with Interact Club members — from left: Max Paulsen, Victoria Barron, Hank Preston, Rich Schutt, Mylene Lamassen, Victoria Narvaez, and Kyle McQuillen. Click here for more photos of the event.

HOMER GLEN, Ill. (March 2015) – People were laughing, talking, and sipping punch. A conga line formed as the DJ blared music. A king and queen were announced, and everyone posed for photos. It looked like a typical prom, aside from one thing — there was a 70-year age gap among participants.

The annual Intergenerational Prom, hosted by the Lockport Township High School Interact Club and Victorian Village, was held at Victorian Village earlier this month. Residents and students alike dressed up, danced, ate, talked, and played games as they got to know each other, and the party lasted until 8 p.m. — a half hour later than it was scheduled to end.

Each year, the high school club comes up with the theme for the event — this year, it was Roaring 20s — and students bring decorations and desserts. Staff at Victorian Village provided a photo backdrop, as well as coffee and punch, and moved a whole lot of furniture to make way for all the attendees.

The entire VV campus — from retirement living, to memory care, to skilled nursing —was invited to the dance. Life Enrichment Director Connie Jaros estimates that 60 residents attended, along with 25 students.

The students choose the king and queen, and this year, they picked Henrietta (Hank) Preston and Rich Schutt. Hank, 92, didn’t expect to hear her name called for Prom Queen — “It was a big, big surprise,” she said.

But the selection didn’t surprise Connie.

“The kids choose based on interaction, and they (the prom king and queen) were both up dancing with the kids, showing what they could do,” Connie said.

“I don’t think I missed a dance,” Hank said. “I love dancing.”

In past years, the Lockport High School jazz band has provided the music for the event, but this year, they had a competition on the same night. So Victorian Village hired DJ Charles Moore, who took requests from the dancers and played everything from Frank Sinatra to the chicken dance.

“It was a nice, large crowd, and the place was very joyful,” Hank said. “I had a tremendous time – the young kids were just great. It was a beautiful party.”

 

See more photos from the prom on Facebook.

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