Secaucus High School’s S.A.I.L. (Service Activities Involvement and Leadership) program held its their third annual Senior Citizen Spring Fling Prom on Thursday, April 11.
“The purpose of the event was to bridge the generational gap between our youth and the senior citizens of the community by providing an outlet where both groups could come under one roof and celebrate coming together,” said S.A.I.L. Service Learning Coordinator Stacey Lee. “The mission of the S.A.I.L. program is to provide all students with opportunities and guidance to acquire the academic, technological, and life skills essential for responsible citizenship and to realize that learning is a life-long process in which they are expected to take with responsibility. Events like this continue to prove to me that the S.A.I.L. program is accomplishing just what I intended it to when I first began the program four years ago.”
Nearly 90 seniors went back to their glory days.
“It’s reminiscent of when we used to be kids,” said Catherine Mascis. “It’s great that they have things like this for us.”
During the prom, S.A.I.L. students provided dinner service and assisted the seniors with anything they needed. The students worked throughout the year to make the prom a memorable night for their beloved seniors.
“I continue to be so proud of these young adults and their natural ability to show kindness, compassion, humility and the innate ability to do the right thing,” said Lee. “They truly understand the meaning behind an event like this. It is my hope that they continue to lead by example.”
The young at heart raved over the kindness they were given during prom.
“I love the way the young children mingle with [us] they were wonderful,” said Mary Iacobucci, who attended with her husband Anthony. They were last year’s prom king and queen.
“The kids were wonderful,” said Mascis.
“We need to support this more because it benefits our high school students,” said Annette Shao.
Several teachers also volunteered their time to make the event worthwhile for the seniors. The teachers involved were Roseanne Speikermann, Danielle Roberto, Toni Ann Palmisano and Myrtha Magulio.
Who said you can’t go back to prom again?
“I really enjoyed it,” said Shao. “[Everyone] was having a ball.”
“We just enjoyed being together with everybody,” said Iacobucci. “It was a beautiful night out.”
First-timer Catherine Mascis had been told by her friends how much of a great time the prom was so she decided to cut loose and dance the night away.
“I love to dance and I never get to dance anymore,” said Mascis.
Students also were in charge of selecting some contest winners: prom king Bob Daniello and queen Mary Dietzel; best dressed, Annette Shao; and best dancer, Fran Mastropietro.
Students entertained the seniors with a song from Bill Hailey and the Comets called “Rock Around the Clock.” Jace Yu also played the piano and the cast of “Annie” at the high school sang two numbers.
Music too fast
While the music was from the ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s, up to the most current tunes, there were several seniors who would have preferred more music from their era.
“The music was more for the younger people; they need some more slower music,” said Charley Makarski.
“I just wish the music could have a little better,” said Mascis.
But according to Secaucus High School’s Principal Robert Berckes, some seniors requested today’s music to dance to in order to feel young again.
Seniors stopped Berckes in town to thank him for a “terrific night.”
“Our students and staff are always willing to reach out and serve, entertain, and assist with a heart full of gladness,” he said.
Shao offered a suggestion for future proms. She would like more seniors to attend the prom and for a photographer to take photos of couples.
Goodies from local businesses
Food was also in abundance as many took home doggy bags, and there were over 60 different desserts made by the students.
Home Depot donated the tulips for the centerpieces, the farmer’s market donated corsages and boutonnieres, and Marra Drug gave Annette Shao a $25 gift card for best dressed.
Annette Shao wore a purple dress with rhinestones. She also wore purple last year as well which may very well be her lucky color from now.
“I could not believe it,” exclaimed Shao about winning best dressed. “Everyone [at my table] was shocked.”
The students were dressed to impress with Tuxedos by Rose, who provided them with bow ties and cummerbunds. The DJ was courtesy of the Kiwanis Club of Secaucus and the Secaucus Senior Center.
Vanessa Cruz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org