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Southampton Care Centre hosts Senior Prom as part of its "Make a Wish" program
“Senior prom” took on a whole new meaning as seniors at Jarlette's Southampton Care Centre celebrated with seniors from the local high school, to the theme of “Old Hollywood Silver Screen.”
Student Council members, seniors and co-op students from Saugeen District Secondary School arrived dressed in their finest, with carnations for their perspective dates. Hollywood inspired decorations featured photos of many of the stars of the 30s, 40s and 50s. Sparkling CDs hung from the ceiling and classic black, silver and gold table clothes and accessories polished the look. The prom couples entered the room through an archway of balloons and stopped to have their photos taken.
Although all residents participated, the house chaplain Eileen Wolfe suggested the prom as an initiative of their "Make a Wish" program, for residents who did not get to go to their own prom. The Make a Wish program is a Jarlette Health Services corporate initiative that helps fund something that a resident has a lot of interest in doing, typically something they have not yet done in their lifetime.
The event was a six-month long co-operative planning project as Wolfe and activity staff rallied the efforts residents, staff, families, volunteers and students. Wolfe recruited her spouse to take photos and her friends to make corsages and blow up balloons for the arch. The home was buzzing in the few weeks before as donated suits and dresses were hung, dress shop style, in the hallways, as eager residents browsed through to choose their outfits. Even residents who chose not to dress up had the opportunity to choose some props: fancy hats, feather boas, ties and handmade wrist corsages.
Several community and independent businesses offered makeup sessions and the hair salon was busy creating up-dos and fluffing on the day of the prom.
“It was the best day I have seen the residents have in all my years at the Southampton Care Centre,” said Brenda Ohm, Administrator. “It wasn’t just the prom itself. The residents woke up excited. It was the planning and preparation, the nails, hair and makeup. The men straightened their ties, shined their shoes and shaved extra close. It was more than just one activity program it was an entire day of anticipation and celebration.”
Along with the wonderful entertainment provided by Paul Hock, two of the senior students dazzled the audience with their singing. One resident's family member was moved to tears as a young man got down on his knee to sing to her mother.
The dietary staff even offered a prom lunch featuring celebration punch and roast beef dinner served on special dishes. It was truly a special day for residents, staff, families and the students alike.
In photo: Southampton resident Audrey W dances with one of the high school students at her "Senior Prom"