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A ROARING GOOD TIME: Great Gatsby Senior Prom is a big hit

STANFORD — You’re never too old for prom.

The Lincoln County Senior Citizens Center’s Great Gatsby Senior Prom held on Friday, May 31, proved to be a huge success, with approximately 200 tickets sold, including many bought by the county’s senior citizens.

Prom-goers, ranging from 13 to 98 years young, had their feet shuffling, arms swinging and hips swaying as they danced the night away under a white tent set up on the grounds of the center off U.S. 27.

“We wanted to make this a great event for the community and our seniors who attend our center regularly,” Center Executive Director Miranda Perkins said. “We hope to continue this tradition every May, with this being our second year in a row hosting it.”

The Great Gatsby theme was based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s book, “The Great Gatsby.” In keeping with the theme, women were dressed to the nines as flappers and men did their best Jay Gatsby imitations.

At the beginning of the prom, Lincoln County Judge Executive Jim W. Adams Jr. presented Perkins with a proclamation declaring May as Older American’s Month. Perkins noted that it isn’t by accident that the prom coincides with Older American’s Month.

“That’s usually why we do our big celebration in May, is because it is Older American’s Month and we want to bring attention to that,” she said. “Each year, more and more older adults are making a positive impact in and around Lincoln County. As volunteers, employees, employers, educators, mentors, advocates, and more, they offer insight and experience that benefit the entire community. That’s why Older American’s Month has been recognizing the contributions of this growing population for 56 years.”

PerkinS said that this year’s Older American’s Month theme – Connect, Create, Contribute – encourages older adults and their communities to: Connect with friends, family, and local services and resources; Create through activities that promote learning, health, and personal enrichment; and Contribute time, talent, and life experience to benefit others.

Before any dancing got underway Friday, prom-goers enjoyed a sit-down dinner, which featured a chicken entree, prepared and served by the staff of Ruckel’s Restaurant and Catering, and a silent auction got underway in the center’s dining room.

To kick off the night’s dancing, the prom crowned its royalty. Prom king and queen nominations were collected throughout May and the two receiving the most votes and named the 2019 queen and king were Dreka “Pearl” Davis and Juan Molina.

“They were just tickled,” Perkins said. “They both are representatives on the advisory council. We have an advisory council here, which is a council of our seniors that come. They have a part in saying what we want to do here. They help me plan the calendar. They helped me plan this event. They are a voice of our senior group.”

Tim Estes of WPBK-FM provided music for the event and did not disappoint keeping everyone out on the dance floor with a mix of music spanning the decades.

In addition to the contributions of Estes, Ruckel’s, Barbara Ann’s Photography, Kayla Gibson of the UK-Lincoln Extension Office (candid photography), and the many donors to the silent auction, Perkins said she greatly appreciated the help of the center staff and volunteers who “worked tirelessly on making this event to the caliber that we planned.”

She added there were also some other behind-the-scene volunteers who are very much appreciated.

“We had a full service hair, nail and makeup salon set up in our recreation room to those who needed a little extra help getting ready for the prom,” said Perkins. “We could not do this without the help of our loving volunteers that do this for our seniors, all at no cost. Goodwill Industries and Salvation Army provided those who needed formal attire, an outfit to wear. Participants had the option to get the whole package to make this a memorable event. We also ran our buses all over the county to pick individuals up to attend.”

All proceeds from the Great Gatsby Senior Prom go right back to many of the people who enjoyed the event.

“All proceeds made from the event is going towards congregate meals, home-delivered meals, bus transportation and supportive services to those 60 years of age and older in Lincoln County,” Perkins said “Those dollars stay right here in our county, helping our own residents.”