BY JURRY TAALIB-DEEN
Journal Staff Writer
Minus a curfew time, and the fear of their parents punishing them for coming home late, 350 area older adults enjoyed the fifth Annual Senior Prom, on Friday April 25, at Start High School, 2010 Tremainsville Ave. Hosted by the Area Office on Aging, AOA, and Toledo Public Schools, TPS, it was the first time many of the attendees went to a prom.
Once there, they enjoyed dinner, live music from the KGB Band, formed the customary Soul Train line, in which everyone danced down a gauntlet of their cheering peers, and at the end of the evening, a king, and queen were selected by Start High School students who, volunteered to help out for night.
Ms. Billie Johnson, President/CEO of the AOA, told The Toledo Journal that the event sells out every year, and feedback following, is always positive.
“People say how fantastic the event was, and how they look forward to the next one,” she said. “This night is really special to them,” Mrs. Johnson said.
Along with Mrs. Johnson, and the AOA, Dr. Romulus Durant, superintendent of TPS, helped start the event.
“Many of the seniors didn’t attend their prom, so this night is very special to them,” he said. “Also, there’s not many things geared towards their age group, here in Toledo, so tonight gives them an opportunity to get out of the house, and enjoy the evening,” Dr. Durant said.
When it was time to choose the prom king, and queen, the criteria was based on the best dressers, after attendees took pictures at a picture booth. Then, the students, who also served as judges selected the top three contestants for king, and queen. Finally, the six stood in front of their peers, and one by one, the mistress of ceremony would ask attendees, by applause and cheers who’s the best dressed. When the selection was complete, Bernard Pope, and Peggy Eitzman were the winners.
“I didn’t get a chance to attend my high school prom, so to win king, makes me feel good,” Mr. Pope said.
“I’m really shocked that I won,” said Ms. Eitzman, who was a physical fitness trainer for the Detroit Lions, and Red Wings. “I never imagined being the prom queen,” she said.