I’m at the St. John’s School, surrounded by a happy crowd: dozens of senior citizens and their dolled up high school dates, playing bingo. This is the start of Senior Prom.
But it’s not the kind of Senior Prom you think. A group of high schoolers from the Emery-Weiner and St. John’s Schools are throwing this party for senior citizens-people who might not have had a senior prom because they grew up during the Depression, or World War II. Students like Alex Rubin made sure it was quite a party.
“They unloaded here, people were waiting for them to arrive, and then one by one they each got dates, and then walked along the red carpet, like it was Hollywood.”
Melissa Galvez: “They each got young dates, or older dates?'”
Bingo, naturally, comes first, followed by dinner and dancing. Rubin said that this idea caught on with the students because prom is, after all, a rite of passage.
“It’s just a great way to give back to them. The first time I heard about this, I was like, how could they go through life without having a senior prom? How could I not want to do this? Sounds awesome.”
And from the looks of it, party-goers young and old are enjoying this second chance at magical night. Sally Sweigart was decked out in a lavender dress for the occasion.
“This is so great. A lot of work went into this, and it’s just beautiful.”
Sweigart remembers the Depression, which she says was much worse than what we’re going through right now.
“I can remember riding in a car, racing to the bank with my grandfather, who was trying to get there before the bank closed, closed down, to get his money back out. I can remember that very vividly.”
Hopefully, our depression will turn out much differently than the famous one. If the enterprising high schoolers in this room are any indication-it will. Here’s Senior Prom Co-organizer Cory Levy:
“The bigger the problem, the bigger the opportunity. So I’m hoping that our high school students will somehow find a solution to a…to fix this economy”
For now, though, the question for Sally is-will you dance?
Melissa Galvez: “Are you going to dance?”
Galvez: “No? Are you sure? I’ll dance with you.”
“I don’t dance anymore”
Galvez: “Why not?”
“But thank you”
But as I was leaving, I saw Sally. She did dance…with her high school date.
From the KUHF NewsLab, I’m Melissa Galvez.