Arts & Entertainment

Livingston Students and Senior Citizens Celebrate 30th Intergenerational Prom

30th Anniversary Intergenerational Prom King David Lin, a junior at LHS, and Prom Queen Ruth Cross, a Navy veteran and longtime Livingston resident Credits: Martha Ackermann
LHS Principal Mark Stern joins student volunteers in serving dessert Credits: Danielle Santola
One last dance: students, committee members and senior citizens take to the floor for The Electric Slide Credits: Danielle Santola
Sponsors supply dinner, dessert and door prizes for 30th annual Intergenerational Prom

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Navy veteran Ruth Cross and Livingston High School (LHS) junior David Lin were named the king and queen of the 30th Anniversary Intergenerational Prom last week, where the Township of Livingston, Livingston Public Schools (LPS), Livingston Education Association (LEA) and the LHS Key Club collaborated to bring Livingston students and senior citizens together to get to know each other as members of the same community.

For more than three hours, students and local seniors lit up the high school cafeteria with smiles and embraced this year’s prom theme, “Celebration Time!”

“This is one of the things that makes Livingston, Livingston,” said LHS Principal Mark Stern. “Here are students, here are seniors from town, here are all the community leaders and educators all coming together to do nothing but have a great time. To enjoy each other’s company, to eat, to dance, to celebrate just being from Livingston and everyone coming together to do that makes it a great annual event.”

Sign Up for E-News

Stern, who has attended nearly half of the 30 proms, was part of the Intergenerational Prom committee along with event chair Bunny Ratner; Liliana Branquinho, supervisor of Senior and Adult Enrichment and Special Events Supervisor; LHS staff members Martha Ackerman and Trish Mattia; Michelle Bent, LPS communication and community outreach coordinator; Michael Fassbender and Nicole Cooper of Aramark Food Service; and LEA member Melissa Cohen.

Committee members and members of the LHS Key Club, Leo Club and other student volunteers served dinner and dessert to their senior guests, while dancing between courses. DJ Randi Rae of Supreme Productions served as Mistress of Ceremonies, and guests enjoyed performances from the AARP Livingstones and LHS Lancer Jazz Band.

Branquinho said the prom king and queen are selected each year based on volunteerism, how much they give back and their involvement within the community. As a Navy veteran, Cross gave back to her country, and in the community, her son teaches line dancing and ballroom classes at the Senior and Community Center.

“She’s a wonderful lady, she’s done a lot for our country and she deserved to be recognized,” said Branquinho.

Lin, a Key Club member since his freshman year, said being named Prom King was completely unexpected, and that dancing with someone as inspiring as Cross was a great experience.

“I think one of the main reasons Key Club is such a great opportunity and different from most of the clubs is because you get to meet so many amazing people who are very dedicated to volunteering and all have unique ideas,” said Lin. “I’ve actually met most of my friends from Key Club. It’s the largest club in the school, so it’s a lot of fun.”

LHS senior Eileen Veng, a former Key Club president and former Intergenerational Prom Queen, said Lin deserved this recognition after the hard work he put into recruiting enough volunteers to help the event run smoothly. She said this is the Key Club’s most popular event, and that planning for it begins early in the school year.

“I’m really glad that there’s as much turnout as last year, if not more, and a lot of the seniors are familiar faces, so it’s really nice,” said Veng, who will be attending University of Pennsylvania in the fall. “I think it’s a really nice way for the high schoolers to connect with that community and for the senior citizens.”

Veng said a highlight of the event was seeing one familiar face among the seniors who brought her own father, a 98-year-old Livingston resident, with her to the event after having so much fun last year.

“It speaks a lot for the community, the fact that the board of education and the town council continue to, year after year, support an event like this,” said Branquinho. “They see the value in it for our seniors and for the residents, so I think that’s really what keeps [the event] going. People look forward to it every year, so we’re very happy to continue to offer it.”

Branquino also acknowledged the nearly 30 local businesses that donated more than 40 door prizes, food and more to the event.

“This has become one of the town’s annual icon events in the senior community—You can tell everybody has a great time,” said Livingston Mayor Ed Meinhardt. “We are very appreciative of the work that Liliana Branquino does, and having the kids from the Key Club and the other organizations involved with putting this together just brings this evening to what it is. They really add a great touch to it, they make these great props, they make decorations and they help the seniors when needed. It’s just a great town event and it was fun to participate.”

As seen in the video above, the seniors and students held hands while singing "God Bless America" to cap off the event. A full list of all sponsors can also be found in the photo album above. 

Don’t miss important news in your town. Click HERE to subscribe for free, or follow us on Facebook and on Twitter at @LivingstonTAP.

Download the FREE TAPinto App: Click here for Android or Click here for iOS

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Livingston Pitcher Ryan Cardona Named Athlete of the Week

April 5, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ — As spring sports begin at Livingston High School, the varsity baseball team’s star pitcher, Ryan Cardona, has been named the season’s first Athlete of the Week.

The senior threw 91 pitches in an extra-inning showdown against Millburn, a Top 10 team, on Saturday morning—walking one and striking out 12 before being taken out. Although the ...

Free Wellness Event at The Joint Chiropractic

April 17, 2018

WEST CALDWELL, NJ — The public is invited to a "Wellness Event to Remember" at The Joint Chiropractic in West Caldwell on Thursday, April 19 from 7 p.m. to  9 p.m.

Guests will include:

Michael Piercy, owner of The Lab
Justyna Debski, owner of Revive Mind Body
Karen Caplan, owner of Nutrition Transitions

Join the ...

Luxury Facial Services 50% OFF

MILLBURN, NJ - DeAmour Salon & Spa is proud to announce its newest team member, Renee Rudikh, formerly of the famous Georgette Klinger Spa at the Short Hills Mall.

Rudikh has extensive experience and specializes in a plethora of facial styles including: deep pore cleansing/European, microdermabrasion with collagen, teenage, men's, back, LED and customized European ...

YMCA $0 Enrollment in April

LIVINGSTON, NJ - For the month of April, the West Essex YMCA is offer $0 enrollment. 

Take advantage of all that your local Y has to offer for the whole family!

Personal Training
Group Classes
Low monthly membership
And much much more!...

Check out all that the Y has to offer HERE

About the West Essex YMCA:
The West Essex YMCA has ...

MAX Challenge of West Orange - 2 Weeks FREE and more...

WEST ORANGE, NJ - The MAX Challenge of West Orange is about to start its next challenge.  Sign up before April 9, and you will receive maximum benefits, including two weeks free!



12 weeks for the price of 10
Unlimited fitness classes 
Nutritional ...

deAmour Salon - Complimentary Blowout with Other Select Services - $40+ Value

Millburn, NJ - Salon Profilo in Milburn has recently rebranded to deAmour Salon & Spa! In celebration, owners Roula and Grace are inviting new and existing clients to enjoy a complimentary blowout with any color service. Call (973) 379-8300 to schedule your appointment. Promo code: TAP COLOR

deAmor Salon specializes in multiple coloring techniques and stays current on industry ...

Guerrero Martial Arts Kids - 50% OFF

CALDWELL, NJ - Guerrero Martial Arts in Caldwell is offering 50% off of their regular 6 week trial program.  Regular price of $69 is being slashed in half to only $34.59 for a limited time only. 

Redeem this discount by clicking HERE and entering in coupon code: TAPKIDS

Six week package includes 12 lessons (2x per week) and a uniform!

" Martial arts ...

Upcoming Events


Thu, April 19, 7:00 PM

CycleBar Livingston, Livingston

Rookie Rider Class At CycleBar Livingston

Health & Wellness

Sat, April 21, 10:30 AM

West Essex YMCA, Livingston

Healthy Kids Day at the West Essex YMCA

Health & Wellness

Mon, April 23, 1:30 PM

Livingston Public Library, Livingston

Monday at the Movies: LOVING VINCENT

Arts & Entertainment

Man Charged With Kidnapping and Assaulting Essex County Victim

April 16, 2018

NEWARK, NJ – A New York man appeared in federal court last week to face allegations that he assaulted and kidnapped an individual who had a protection order against him, according to U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito.

Rudolf Szoradi, 50, is charged by four-count criminal complaint with kidnapping, transporting a stolen vehicle across state lines, interstate domestic violence and interstate ...

Valyrian Steel: Where is it All? Should We Still Care?

There is a glaring hole in recent Game of Thrones seasons that needs to be addressed: the ability of Valyrian steel to destroy White Walkers has not been acknowledged since before Jon Snow’s death.

In fact, it hasn’t been mentioned since the Season Five finale when Jon Snow reveals this discovery to Sam Tarly. Jon has cared about little more than the war between the living and ...

Victoria Pevzner, Origin Health & Fitness Student-Athlete and Fencer, Captures Silver Fencing Medal in International Competition

April 19, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Victoria Pevzner, an 11-year-old fencer, placed second in the U-13 Girls’ Foil event at 2018 Challenge Wratislavia, an international youth fencing tournament in Wroclaw, Poland, March 22-26, 2018.

The "13 year-old and under" girls foil event included more than 180 competitors from the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, ...

Letter to the Editor: Don't Complain. Vote!

April 12, 2018

Don’t Complain; Vote!

It’s no secret that people have strong feelings about what’s happening in our country. It’s also true that much of politics is local. In November, 11th District residents will have the opportunity to choose a new congressional representative who will not only serve as a critical check on the federal level, but also determine how our distract fares ...

Cluelessly Clueless

I teenaged my way through high school under the assumption that my parents had no idea what I was doing.  I like to think I was pretty good at withholding information and presenting situations in ways that were other than they really were.


Still, sometimes they found things out.  Like the time my friends plopped me on our front door step at one o'clock in the morning ...