A guest appearance from “Elvis,” door prizes and an opportunity to be crowned king or queen – this is not your typical prom. Bryant’s first Senior Prom Night is sure to be what its name promises: “A Night Under the Stars.”
The Bryant Senior Activity Center, along with many of the assisted living, short-term and long-term care, adult daycare and home-care businesses in Saline County have joined together to create this (what hopes to be) annual event. The affair will take place from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Thursday, June 20 at the Bryant Senior Activity Center at Bishop Park.
It also includes food, music and dancing, of course, in addition to special guest Elvis and the crowning of prom queen and king. Tickets are $25 per person in advance and $30 at the door.
The Bryant Senior Activity Center welcomes individuals 60 and older to enjoy a hot meal and activities with other senior adults who have a common interest, says Mary Vickers, center director.
The center hosts an informal dance each weekend, says event co-chair Kim Vail, owner of Elder Independence. “We wanted to give them something special. Maybe some of them didn’t attend a senior prom. This event is a way to make each of them feel special and have an evening out with their special someone, whether that’s their spouse, significant other, son or daughter.”
For those without a date, members of the Bryant fire and police departments have agreed to escort them to the prom, Mary says.
Kim says the members are “excited about the event and looking forward to a nice evening.” The Atrium at Serenity Pointe in Hot Springs will serve heavy hors d’oeuvres and guests may enjoy a dessert buffet. What’s any event these days without a photo booth? No worries, this special event will give guests an opportunity to capture the fun night with props galore.
Door prizes include an assortment of gift cards from local businesses, including dinner at restaurants, local boutiques, beauty salons, nail salons, Lowe’s, and Walmart, as well as many other great prizes, Kim says.
Pleasant Hill Adult Day Care and Care Home is sponsoring the music for the evening. DJ Chris Hoskins of Malvern will play music from the 1950s, and will take requests, too. The Jitterbug and other popular dances from that era are sure to show up on the dance floor. The Elvis impersonator is expected to perform live for about 30 minutes of the evening.
In addition to the set Saturday night dances, special evening and weekend events are held on Valentine’s Day, Halloween, Fourth of July, Veteran’s Day and community specific events such as Bryant Fall Fest and Old Fashion Day.
At the Bryant Senior center, there is never a cost, but donations are always welcome, Mary says. Donations and sponsors of the senior prom will help the center purchase a new passenger van, she adds.
The center offers transportation, food distribution and meals for the community homebound, meals in a dining setting, computer training, telephone reassurance calls, brain and trivia games, health screenings, consumer and nutritional education, legislative events, field trips, overnight trips, volunteer opportunities and a myriad of special events.
Research shows that older adults who participate in senior activity programs can learn to manage and delay the onset of chronic disease, and experience improvements in their physical, social, spiritual, emotional, mental and economic well-being, Mary points out.
“At the Bryant Senior Activity Center, they provide a place of belonging to the elderly,” Mary says. “They laugh, sing, dance, learn, work, play and volunteer. They come to live.”
The hope of the Senior Prom, organizers say, is to further the mission of the senior center. “We hope this event will give the senior adult community an opportunity to relive their youth,” Kim says. “We are raising money to support the Meals on Wheels program for the Bryant Senior center, so they can expand their outreach for delivering hot meals to homebound senior adults in the community.”
The Bryant center is one of eight senior centers established through the Central Arkansas Development Council, which operates in 19 counties throughout central and southern Arkansas. The current senior center at Bishop Park was opened in 2012, sharing a 75,000-square-foot building with the Bryant Boys and Girls Club, Bryant Recreation Center, and Aquatics Center. It served more than 3,000 individuals last year.