BRADFORD, Pennsylvania ã It was a prom where bodices were pinned on gray haired girls by bifocal guys ã and the dance moves were boogie-woogie style.
The ßseniorà prom held at Bradford Area High School on Saturday drew a large crowd of senior residents who were treated to the same Hawaiian decorations in the gymnasium that the students had used the night before for their own prom.
Sponsoring the event was the Bradford Area Education Association who provided drinks, snacks and volunteers to keep the afternoon running smoothly. Many of the attendees who attended were from the Bradford Senior Center.
For some of the elderly, who grew up during the Great Depression, the dance was the first ball they had ever attended.
“It’s the first prom I’ve been to, I didn’t get a chance to go to the other one when I graduated,” said June Hand, who said she bought a prom dress for the event.
Janet and Harold Glover, who married at the Bradford Senior Center in 2003, said they were happy to be able to go to a prom together. Mrs Glover said she was able to go to her high school prom but her husband did not.
Dom Pessia, who took his wife Sue to prom on Saturday, said he couldn’t go to prom when he was in high school. Mr Pessia, 86, said he was the eldest of a large family and could not afford to go at the time. He planned to make it up on Saturday, however, by buying his wife a bodice and driving to the event in their Cadillac. He also danced up a storm with his best girl.
Sophie Poleto also said she couldn’t afford to go to her first prom either and was excited about the 2005 version.
“I’m going over there to look for a man,” Ms Poleto said with a laugh.
Terri Smith, spokeswoman for the education association, said the organization organized the event to give something back to the community.
She said the prom was sponsored by a Blue Ribbon grant through the state teachers’ association.
The funding helped pay for snacks, John Kytic’s band music with vocals by Diane Davies, and flowers for the prom king and queen. There was also additional jazz music provided by the School Street Elementary Jazz Band. Ms Smith said extra drinks and disposable cameras to take pictures of attendees were provided by Parkview Supermarket.
Ms Smith said she hopes the organization can continue to organize the event in the future if there is financial support.