If you’re going
“A Night in Paris,” a senior citizen prom, is set for 2 to 5 p.m. May 4 at Sexton Hall Enrichment Center, 2115 Chloe Road. For more information, contact Sarah Bock at email@example.com or call Forsyth County Senior Services at (770) 781-2178.
Ben Bagwell’s mom took him to dance lessons when he was 12 years old. While he wasn’t thrilled about it at the time, they have served him well.
“My mother said, ‘Son, you need to learn to dance’ and she arranged for me to go to a studio where the girls were already dancing,” he said. “… So from that point on, I’ve always loved dancing.”
Now at 80, Bagwell will get another chance to show off his footwork May 4 during a special event for Forsyth County senior citizens.
Sarah Bock, a sophomore at South Forsyth High School, is presenting a “senior” prom to those who take part in local senior services programs.
The prom is a community service project for Bock, who is completing her Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest achievement in Girl Scouting and equal to the Boy Scout Eagle rank.
In order to earn the award, a girl must be in high school and complete a large-scale outreach project that includes planning and demonstrates leadership abilities.
“It’s kind of a tribute to my grandparents because they really like social events like this,” Bock said of the “senior” prom. “… And it’s a service project where seniors in high school can go help senior citizens.”
Senior services staff members were thrilled with Bock’s idea.
“She’s been so organized with this,” said Chris Luttrell, who works at Sexton Hall Enrichment Center, where the prom will be held.
Kerry Rosewall, an employee of Charles Place in downtown Cumming, praised Bock for seeking out financial sponsors.
“We haven’t had to do anything really because she’s doing the majority of the work and arranging for the costs to be covered … so we don’t have to pass any costs along to our seniors or the taxpayers,” she said.
Senior services will be providing rides to the event for those enrolled in the transportation program. Like their younger counterparts, the seniors seem excited for the prom, whose theme is “A Night in Paris.”
Joan Duchaine said she’s picked out her dress.
“I have an outfit at home that I’ve only worn once that I think would be appropriate, but some people are going out and buying new outfits,” she said.
Rosewall added that some of the seniors are carpooling to local thrift stores to seek out prom-worthy looks. “And I know one lady is bringing a bunch of dresses in to see if the ladies can wear any of them.”
Excitement also is building at the high school, where Bock has recruited several clubs — Beta, Key and MD Junior, among others — to contribute.
Culinary Arts students will likely make a cake for the night, and students in the engineering club are building an 8-foot tall model of the Eiffel Tower.
In addition, Bock has recruited several local sheriff’s deputies and firemen to attend.
“We love that the police and firemen are coming because that’s our No. 1 complaint from the women, that there’s never any men around to dance with,” Luttrell joked.
Rosewall said that many of the senior men, including Bagwell, will be there.
“It’s great that they’re having this,” he said. “I’ve always loved dances.”