Taking PRIDE in seniors: CHEA holds Golden Age Spooktacular Prom

Association’s annual prom funded by contribution from state group

This year’s 9th annual Spooktacular Golden Age Prom will take place on Oct. 21 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Cherry Hill East. Pictured here are a previous year’s Golden Age Prom King and Queen. (Special to The Sun/The Sun)

After a three-year hiatus, the Cherry Hill Education Association’s ninth annual Golden Age Prom returns on Friday, Oct. 21, in the East High School cafeteria.

The free event is geared to township seniors, but friends or family outside Cherry Hill are also welcome. The prom will feature music, dancing and dinner sponsored by a PRIDE grant from the New Jersey Education Association, which also funds other annual events sponsored by the township association.

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“The PRIDE grants are basically community organizing or outreach events, so a lot of the events happen in the schools for parents,” said Steve Redfearn, president of the association.  “But when we first started this, we thought this is a way to keep the seniors in the community who don’t have grandkids, or their kids aren’t still in the district to be connected to schools.

“We had seen the idea in other schools nine years ago, so we started doing it.”

Previously held in spring, this year’s prom was scheduled for fall to avoid competing with the association’s Lip Sync Battle. The prom’s theme is “spooktacular,” and seniors are invited to wear whatever they feel comfortable with, whether it be a Halloween costume, prom attire or jeans. 

The goal is simply for seniors to have a good time, according to Redfearn.

“We’ve had people come all dressed up, we’ve had people come casually dressed, we’ve had people come in jeans and a polo shirt,” he noted. “There’s really no dress code.”

The East cafeteria will be decked out in fall colors for the event and will feature fall decorations like leaves and pumpkins. Like a high-school prom, there will be music by a DJ, a photo booth and a prom king and queen selected by student volunteers.

“We let the (students) interact and watch and see which male and which female are always out dancing or out involved,” Redfearn explained of the selection process.

Golden Age Prom hours are 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. To RSVP, call (856) 424-2110 or email cheaoffice@gmail.com.

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