Home Haddonfield News Senior prom returns to Haddonfield on May 7

Senior prom returns to Haddonfield on May 7

Event promotes bonding of elderly residents and students

If you’re an elderly borough resident who loves to dance, then you’re in luck: The senior prom returns to Haddonfield on May 7. 

Unlike previous years, the dance will take place outside in the Haddonfield Memorial High School courtyard from 2 to 4 p.m. and will feature a student DJ. If it rains, the dance will move indoors to the cafeteria. Activities will include a trivia contest, prom king and queen crownings and a photo booth.

While the dance is traditionally held around Valentine’s Day in the high-school gym, LEO Club Advisor Margaret Gammie explained that it was pushed back due to COVID concerns. The prom, once called the Senior Citizens Dance, is an annual event for Haddonfield seniors organized by the LEO Club. Students are responsible for decorations, along with preparing and serving food.

The prom began in 2004, when former high-school teacher Richard Eastwick held the first senior dance at the request of the school’s then principal and a guidance counselor shortly after the LEO Club was founded.

Eastwick said one of the best things to come from the event is the interaction between senior citizens and students.

“The main goal (of holding a senior dance) was to get intergenerational interaction between the high-school kids and senior citizens,” Eastwick explained. “Over the years, we had talked about that a lot, doing intergenerational stuff to get understanding and maybe some empathy, so seniors understand what students are going through and so young people can understand what senior citizens are going through.”

Eastwick said it can be difficult for students to understand the isolated lives of some seniors, while the latter may not be fully aware of the pressures on students today. Holding a senior dance allows both groups to learn from each other.

“It’s always a good time for everybody to come together and have fun together,” Gammie said.

Since the club’s founding in 2004, LEOs have held other intergenerational events by working with the Mabel Kay Senior Center in Haddonfield to rake leaves for seniors, participating in a picnic there and holding luncheons for Thanksgiving and St. Patrick’s Day.

The prom is free and open to all Haddonfield seniors. Walk-ins are welcome but interested seniors should RSVP by calling Sheri Siegel at 856-354-8789 or emailing Maggie Gammie at mgammie@haddonfield.k12.nj.us.

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