Dancing the afternoon away

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 23, 2024

Senior center hosts prom

ROME TOWNSHIP — The Lawrence County Senior Center hosted their second Senior Prom on Tuesday.

Center director Darlene Green said 141 attended the event, which took place in their building at the Lawrence County Fairgrounds, which opened in December 2022.

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Students from the Beta Club at Fairland High School, which neighbors the center, put on the event, Green said.

The students, under teacher Stephanie Beelen, previously hosted the center’s senior Olympics.

The event was open to the public, Green said, and all participants had to do was show up. Formal dress was not required.

Beelen said the Beta Club is a national organization that “emphasizes service, achievement character and leadership.”

“The idea is to lead through service and through different types of community service,” she said.

She said this is the second year the students have organized the prom, which 41 assisted with at the event, though many more helped in the preparations.

Other projects of the group have included the Special Olympics and working at a nearby street ministry, where they serve breakfast.

Beelen said the students have also taken a group of 30 children in need shopping and to breakfast at Christmas, a project for which the applied for and received a grant from United Way of the River Cities.

The group has also collected and distributed “Period Packs,” to middle schools, consisting of feminine hygiene items for girls.

The prom featured dancing, including the Twist, as well as a conga line.

“It was a lot of fun,” Green said of the event.

Beelen said in the photos of the event that were posted to Facebook, one included a 92-year-old woman dancing with one of the students.

“She said, ‘I never thought there would be a time in my life when I would dance again,’” Beelen said.

Green said the next event at the center is their Easter dinner, for which doors open at 10 a.m. and will run until 1 p.m.

Following that will be their regular, monthly First Friday luncheon, set for April 5, which will have the same hours.

The center is located at 7755 County Road 107 in Rome Township, on the northern end of the fairgrounds.