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Area senior citizens are going to the prom

March 18, 2009

KALAMAZOO--Area senior citizens will be able to relive prom night for the 21st consecutive year during Western Michigan University's annual Senior Prom Thursday, March 19, in the East Ballroom of the Bernhard Center on WMU's main campus in Kalamazoo.

The semi-formal event, which will run from 7 to 10 p.m., is a fun-filled nostalgic evening that brings hundreds of senior citizens together with WMU students, faculty and staff for a night of Big Band music and swing and ballroom dancing.

Members of the general public are welcome to attend. Admission is free, as is parking in the nearby parking ramp--Parking Structure No. 1.

The 2009 prom theme is "La Ville d'Amore" (The City of Love). Music will be provided by the Otsego Jazz Band. No early bird activities have been scheduled, but in keeping with previous years, the evening will include dance contests, prizes, free refreshments and photo keepsakes.

"The Senior Prom is one of the best ways for Kalamazoo area senior citizens and WMU students to enjoy an entertaining, and for many students, new experience," says Jayme Bush, student coordinator for the event and a junior from Rockford, Mich. "Rarely as students do we have such an amazing opportunity to enjoy the company of seniors who have so much to teach us."

The night's activities allow everyone to relax and have fun, adds Bush, a resident assistant for Draper/Siedschlag Residence Hall, which is organizing the prom.

"Don't worry about not knowing the steps to swing dancing," she advises novices. "Our seniors are great teachers, and in 20 years, no one has ever walked away without having had a great time. What could be better than free food, music, dancing and great company?"

The Senior Prom began in 1988 as a way for older WMU alumni and area residents to share an evening of fun and reminiscing with current students. The event gradually grew in popularity and last year, attracted some 500 senior citizens and members of the University community.

A half-dozen committees and scores of volunteers are helping Draper/Siedschlag organize the 2009 prom, and area businesses are again donating prizes. Financial assistance is being provided by several WMU organizations, including the Office of Residence Life, Western Student Association, the Residence Hall Association, the Division of Student Affairs and the individual residence hall councils.

To get the word out about the event, organizers rely on mail invitations, announcements at area senior citizen centers, and newspaper advertisements and stories. A personal invitation is not necessary to attend, and there is no need to make a reservation.

For more information, contact the Draper/Siedschlag Hall office at (269) 387-4790 or Jessica Robinson, Draper-Siedschlag Hall director, at jessica.robinson@wmich.edu.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, (269) 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
(269) 387-8400