Sampson McMullan twirls Henny Mook at La Rosa Gardens on Wednesday afternoon during a prom event.

VIDEO: Ladysmith Secondary students plan ‘senior prom’ at La Rosa Gardens

Toes were tapping, heads bopping and a few people gracefully took to the ‘dance floor’ on Wednesday afternoon at La Rosa Gardens as a group of Ladysmith Secondary School students hosted a Hollywood themed prom for residents.

Sampson McMullan, Taylor Tyas and Taelor Lewis have volunteered at the independent living centre every other week as part of their Grade 9 leadership class this term.

The students decided the best way to celebrate the last week with their new friends was to hold a ‘senior prom.’

“It reminds them that no matter how old you are you can always have fun,” said Tyas. “Prom isn’t just for Grade 12s it can be for any age.”

Cliff Marcil from Oldies but Goodies played the keyboard and provided vocals as the students danced with the seniors in the activity room.

“I graduated in 1947 and things were very different then,” said 82-year-old Ruth Atkinson, one of the first people up out of her seat.

And while others in the LSS class have taken up volunteer posts involving younger children, these teens have formed a unique bond with La Rosa Gardens residents.

“You can joke with them and they’re really entertaining to talk to,” said McMullan, who helped close off the one hour prom with a keyboard rendition of Elvis Presley’s Can’t Help Falling in Love.

“We prefer the elderly over little kids,” added Tyas. “I always found every old age home I’ve ever been in has been a great experience because it’s so much fun.”

Over the weeks the students and seniors have got to know each other and shared plenty of laughs while playing games includingPictionary to Family Feud.”

“It’s been awesome because we play games that make us all think which keeps our minds sharp,” Atkinson said.

La Rosa Gardens activity coordinator Jen Gendron said it was a “fantastic idea” pitched by the students to host a prom event as a farewell before school breaks for the summer.

“I just think it’s really nice that they thought of the seniors in the community,” Gendron said. “They loved having the kids here and really looked forward to it.”

La Rosa Gardens is home to 60 residents and most, if not all, are hoping to see the teens again soon.

“We will miss them – hopefully they start in September again,” Atkinson said.