SUMMIT, NJ - Sylvia Federico, of Berkley Heights, and Andy Haspel of New Providence, never attended their senior proms in high school. Neither did Ethel Marie Venable or Yvette W. Glover, residents of South Mountain Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Union.
So when they heard of the “Senior” Prom for older adults being held at Overlook Medical Center, it seemed like a great opportunity – Venable, Glover and some of their fellow residents at South Mountain came decked out in dresses, tiaras and tuxedos – and Haspel and Federico took home the Prom King and Queen crowns.
“It is very nice,” Venable said. “And I just love that music.”
The event was part of Atlantic Health System’s 'New Vitality' program, an award-winning health and wellness program tailored to meet the needs of adults age 65 and older. Local senior citizens as well as senior centers throughout the region were invited to attend the event, which was held in the Bouras Auditorium at Overlook, and featured hors d’oeuvres as well as live music by Chris Corbin, who sang a selection of Frank Sinatra and other Golden Age classics.
The event also featured a lesson in ballroom dancing by instructor Sergei Bezrodnov and his assistants from Ballroom Dance of NJ. Roses were handed out to the female attendees, and the evening was capped by crowning of Prom King and Queen, chosen by random drawing.
“'New Vitality' seeks to promote healthy lifestyles in creative ways for the older population in our communities,” said Alexandra Green, community health coordinator at Overlook. “We thought a prom was a great opportunity to get active, meet others and have a great time.”
Federico, who came with her husband of 61 years, Joe, said the program appealed to her and the group of friends who accompanied them. “I’m looking forward to another one,” Federico said.
For more information about Atlantic Health System’s New Vitality program call 908-522-2579 and, for more information about Overlook’s community health programs, call 908-522-5355.