This year’s senior-senior prom at Huntington High School proved to be a fun afternoon. Staged by the Grandfriends club, the event drew 135 local senior citizens to the cafeteria for music, dancing, dinner and lots of good conversation.
The club is led by a three remarkable teenagers in Alexis Aviles, Angelica Hernandez and Ashlyn Case, who share the title of club president. Suzi Biagi and Camille DeCanio are the club’s faculty advisor.
Dozens of club members spent months planning the event. The senior citizens were met at the high school’s front doors and escorted down to the cafeteria, which was festively decorated for the event. The teenagers took obvious delight in interacting with their guests, who had several hours of fun.
This year’s prom took on an “aloha” theme and many of the prom-goers came dressed for the decade. The menu included various tasty Hawaiian delicacies, which seemed to satisfy everyone’s appetite.
“It was good to know that all of the hard work of everyone in the club paid off, watching the seniors dance and enjoy the night,” Ms. Hernandez said.
Huntington High School junior Chas Forte volunteered his services and played popular tunes, keeping everyone in a lively mood and the dance floor filled. Even those who happen to be wheelchair bound were made to feel special by Grandfriends club members as they enjoyed a short respite from their typical daily routine.
The prom dance included plenty of laughs and smiles, the crowning of a prom king and queen, stories shared and new friendships made. “It was a most wonderful afternoon,” Mrs. Biagi said. “Seeing our students strive to make sure everyone was having a good time was something very special.”
Donald Clarke was crowned the prom king while Lois Bratton was named the queen. The pair enjoyed a quick spin on the dance floor.
Huntington sophomore Cassidy Casabona treated prom-goers and fellow students to an authentic Hawaiian dance and group lesson.
This marked the final prom for the club’s seniors, many of whom have been volunteering for the past four years.
“I’m so thankful to have been a part of Grandfriends,” Ms. Case said. “The senior-senior prom is always so memorable for all of us, Not only is it a lot of fun, but we walk away knowing we brightened someone else’s day, too. Though I’m sad that this was my final year, I’m confident that Grandfriends has a bright future ahead.
Once again it was hard to tell who was having more fun; the students or their guests. Everyone interacted effortlessly and with grace and kindness. “The senior-senior prom is always the highlight of the year for the Grandfriends club,” Mrs. Biagi said. Club members fundraised to cover costs associated with the event.
Grandfriends participates in intergenerational events throughout the year with a focus on the senior citizen community. The group raises money through after-school bake sales. It would love to receive some support from the business community. Want to get involved? Send a message to Mrs. Biagi at firstname.lastname@example.org.