Community Service throws prom for retirement home

Seniors hectically decorated an empty living room while an orchestral rendition of “Don’t Stop Believin'” played in the background. They had one hour left to finish transforming the space into a dance floor.

For their senior class community service project, more than 30 students hosted a prom for senior citizens living in Belmont Village, an assisted living facility, on March 28.

The theme was Casino Night, so students covered the common area with giant playing cards as well as red-and-black streamers and balloons. Student volunteers planned the project, set up decorations and partied alongside the senior citizens.

According to community service officer Sarah Bland, the prom exceeded the expectation sod the officers and the senior citizens.

“We spent a lot of time interacting with the senior citizens, listening to them, hearing their stories. It was a lot of fun,” Bland said.

Some Belmont attendees told students that they could not attend their own prom over 60 years ago.

“A couple of the residents shared with us that they grew up in the 1940’s, and because of the World War, they didn’t get to have their own prom,” said Community Service Coordinator Marci Bahr. “That’s pretty amazing, between the ages of 80 and 90, to have your first prom.”

Several students performed music, including a string quartet that played renditions of recent popular hits. Daniel Shebib also served as DJ for the dance.

JOseph Hanson, the master of ceremonies for the prom, announced awards for senior citizens selected by the Belmont Staff.

“We also gave superlatives to the guests, such as Most Likely To Be Famous,” community service officer Maddie Tufts said.

Finally the students crowned the prom King and Queen.

“The recipients of the awards were thrilled,” Bahr said. “What pleased me the most was that all of the other residents at Belmont Village were so joyful for the person who won. It was such a cool, supportive atmosphere.”

Senior Lucy Elkins opens up a giant deck of cards while decorating Belmont Village.
Philip Kensinger
Senior Lucy Elkins opens up a giant deck of cards while decorating Belmont Village.





















Sophomore Molly Isaac and senior Lillian Chen lead an ongoing arts and crafts project at Belmont village and coordinated with community service officers to plan the prom.

“It was a very happy moment because seeing them at the prom, it felt like the happiness and joy in their eyes tripled from what I saw during during the crafts projects,” Chen said.

After the awards ceremony, students gave the senior citizens gift bags with photos taken during the event.

The whole prom was an event that students and senior citizens both enjoyed.

“It’s always great to say ‘Hi’ to the people you are serving, but a lot of the senior citizens really wanted someone to talk to,” bland said. “They told me about the sports that they had played, about their interests. Forming these relationships with them was great.”

Several residents asked the community service officers if the prom was going to become an actual event.

“It’s a really great way to have a larger project,” Bland said. “Because you can have a lot of volunteers, and there are so many residents, you can have that one-­on­-one contact with the people that you are serving.”

Senior community service officers agree that the prom was worth the effort.

“Talking to the guests was inspiring because they each had such great words of wisdom to give us, especially with us going into college,” said Tufts. “They really emphasized how important education is, and some of them had a really good education while others didn’t, but everyone still prioritized education. They also said that time is limited, and you don’t realize how fast it goes by, and they told us most importantly, to live our lives.”