Senior citizens were transported to the land of pharaohs and mummies last Sunday afternoon at the Weehawken High School gym, which had been transformed for the community’s annual senior citizen prom.
“The senior citizen prom is something they started a number of years back and it’s a way for senior citizens to go back to their younger years of having their prom in the high school gym,” said Steven Spinosa, one of the event coordinators.
“Like the old days, they take the gym and decorate it with a theme.” – Steve Spinosa
“Like the old days, they take the gym and decorate it with a theme,” said Spinosa.
Some the senior citizen prom’s past themes have been The 50s, Hollywood, and A Night in Paris. This year the theme was Traveling through Egypt.
“They get to walk like an Egyptian in Weehawken High School,” said Spinosa.
Prom for the greatest generation
The gym was decorated with pyramids, fans, Egyptian urns, the tables and chairs were draped in linens, and many of the center pieces were designed after renowned Egyptian landmarks such as the Sphinx.
Working with Spinosa was Kathleen Campanella, who coordinated decorating the gym, Student Council Advisor Erin O’Rouke, and high school Principal Dr. Peter Oliveri.
“It’s a joint effort between the Board of Education and the Township Council,” said Spinosa. “They use the themes and the decoration from the high school, but the senior citizen prom is all sponsored by Mayor Turner and the Town Council.”
The senior citizen prom had a live band, was professionally catered, and went from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Students of Weehawken High School also volunteered for the event and acted as hosts.
“They come and serve the food and they dance with the seniors to music of their era,” said Spinosa. “Some of the senior citizens are quite the dancers and they teach the students how to dance to the old style, so it’s a great learning process that goes on.”
“It was a well organized event and the seniors all had fun,” said Cristina Abud, one of the student volunteers. “Many of them were dancing and teaching me how to dance to the music from their time.”
The prom gives the senior citizens a chance to socialize with each other and with the local student community, school administration, and their municipal government leaders. They also get to take pictures with everyone in front of the beautiful and elaborate decorations as keepsakes.
“It’s just a beautiful sight and the seniors have a great time,” said Spinosa. “What’s old is new again. It also really comes down to how the generations are able to coexist in a formal setting.”
Jessica Rosero may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org