PROVIDENCE – On Sept. 1, more than 75 guests and friends of the Kosher Senior Café at the Alliance’s Dwares Jewish Community Center got a chance to relive their dreams at the 2nd annual Senior Prom.
They dined and danced and chatted with their friends while listening to vocals by Jeanne Evans and Elaine Sullivan, the mother-daughter duo who make up Canary Diamonds, with their band, the Yvonne Monnett Trio .
The Baxt Social Hall at the JCC was decorated with flowers on each table. There was even a balloon arch, perfect for a photo backdrop. Prom-goers were treated to a Kosher lunch, featuring salmon, with appetizers and tasty treats for dessert.
Providence Mayor Brett Smiley arrived just before lunch to greet the seniors and talk about what the city does for them. He went from table to table, shaking hands and taking time to chat. Everyone appeared to be having a wonderful time.
The idea for the senior prom first sparked in 2022 with Dorothy Retting and Rebecca D’Arezzo. Retting, welcome desk supervisor at the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island, and D’Arezzo, membership associate at the Alliance, wanted to offer seniors additional programming. They got together with Neal Drobnis, nutrition coordinator at the Kosher Senior Café, and the rest is history. The first prom was a successful event with about 60 in attendance. This one was even better, according to Retting. “It was even more fun," she said. She said it was great to have her parents at the prom.
She and D’Arezzo are already thinking about next year. “We are planning a theme for next year,” she said.
Sponsors for this year’s event were the Alliance, Jewish Collaborative Services, City of Providence, Sandra Bornstein Holocaust Education Center and Bay State Physical Therapy.