By LEVI PASCHER
Sacandaga Express

The senior citizens of the Broadalbin and Perth communities will have the opportunity to dust off their dancing shoes and celebrate with an evening of fun at the seventh annual prom next week.
On Friday, March 13, the Fulton County’s Office for Aging and Youth Services is teaming up with the Broadalbin-Perth Central School District to host a prom for local seniors.
This year’s theme is the “Sock Hop Prom” and will feature of variety of music that will allow the senior alumni and citizens to enjoy the tunes and dance moves of their youth, during their golden years. Organizers said the assigned DJ will play an array of music that will have the guest rockin’ around the clock and twistin’ the night away.
“A lot of kids grandparents today are younger, so when they see an 80-year-old dancing it really gets them smiling and enjoying the moment with a generation that they don’t spend much time with,” said county Office for Aging Director Andrea Fettinger.
Fettinger said over the last year her office has worked closely with both the middle school and intermediate school principals to coordinate the event.
“They do a lot of intergenerational programs there but this was something unique that has really grown into quite the event,” she said. “Besides our senior picnic this is one of the most exciting events we have because it’s drawing a few more people every year.”
She said each of the last two years, over 100 seniors have made their way to the prom, and each year is more special than the last.
Fettinger said the night also gives senior citizens the opportunity to attend something that they might have missed in their youth.
“We’ve had a lot of seniors get really into the moment and wear the full attire because they missed that opportunity earlier in life,” Fettinger said. “Providing them that chance, at this moment in time, means the world to a lot of them living in the community.”
Intermediate school principal Daniel Casey said students from the district’s National Junior Honor Society, Community Service Club and student council volunteer their time — and dance moves — at the event.
“The students really help generate the mood,” Casey said. “They add some energy to the mix and get the dance floor going.”
The students and staff also help create decorations, set up the gymnasium, escort the seniors, offer them flowers upon arrival, and serve food throughout the evening.
High school student photographers snap photos of the crowd throughout the night and they also will be taking the classic prom portrait to allow each senior to take home a picture that captures the moment.
Casey said the district is also doing something extra special for the senior alumni this year as well.
“All of our yearbooks have been scanned to the computer so we are matching the people that register to the yearbook pictures that we can find,” Casey said. “It is pretty cool and will let those attending see their memories flashing on the big screen all evening long.”
At the end of the night every attending seniors’ name is thrown into a basket and eight “court” members are chosen at random, and two are dubbed the “king and queen,” of the prom.
Casey said the district’s Parent Teacher Organization fundraise for the event and local businesses make material or cash contributions to help the effort.
The local businesses that made this years festivities possible include Price Chopper, Lowes, Home Depot, Walmart, John Viscosi, Taylor Made, Rubi & Quiri, and Benjamin Moore.
The night of fun is free and will be held at the Broadalbin Perth Intermediate School Gym, from 6-8:30 p.m. Those interested in attending the prom should call the Fulton County Office for Aging at 736-5650.