"Senior Prom" was a huge hit for residents of South Orange B’nai B’rith Federation House and Village Apartments of the Jewish Federation in South Orange, N.J.
The inaugural event mimics similar programs at B'nai B'rith senior facilities around the country, and is just one of many popular social events hosted in each location throughout the year. The Jewish Community Housing Corporation of Metropolitan New Jersey put out a press release, covering the experience of the senior citizens, as well as the Seton Hall students who helped organize and host the event.
There were refreshments, dancing and musical entertainment by singer Peri Smilow and husband Budd Mishkin, a NY1 television personality; the couple performed classic rock songs, followed by more music and dancing courtesy of a DJ who played tunes specially selected by Mark Pressel, a former Broadway musical director and resident of Village Apartments of the Jewish Federation. Admission was free with the donation of a can of non-perishable food for the Our Lady of Sorrows food bank, which is supported by Seton Hall University.
“We found that older people really wanted a social activity and without question, the South Orange Senior Prom filled a need in the community,” said co-coordinator, Nan Samens. “It was spectacular and everyone walked out with a smile on their face. People already want to sign up for next year.”
The Senior Prom provided an opportunity for older adults to socialize with their peers as well as foster a stronger connection with Seton Hall University. SOS coordinators worked with Michelle Peterson from DOVE to arrange the dance. This winter, student volunteers from DOVE shoveled out residents’ cars at the two South Orange senior residences. Seton Hall offers senior discounts on its regular courses and also offers classes specifically for area seniors.
“We are thrilled to be working with the dynamic leaders of the South Orange Seniors, who are filled with energy and vision,” said Michelle Peterson, director of Seton Hall’s Division of Volunteer Efforts. “DOVE aims to serve our community through love and outreach. Our collaboration with SOS has been a wonderful experience for the seniors and Seton Hall students alike.”