Copperas Cove Senior Center holds prom Saturday
By PAMELA GRANT
For many, the pandemic caused feelings of loneliness and isolation. This weekend, local senior citizens got their groove on, coming together for an evening of fun and dancing for the first time—for many—in over a year.
With things beginning to return to a sense of normalcy, the Copperas Cove Senior Activity Center is happy to finally be reopening and holding events again. The Senior Activity Center hosted a Senior Prom Saturday at the Copperas Cove Civic Center from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. where they also announced that they would be reopening Monday.
The prom featured Scotty Ray and Blanca’s Oldies but Goodies Show with Max McConnell and Dennis Rehders.
Sponsors for the event included Elara Caring, Hill Country Rehab and Nursing Center, Integrity Rehab + Home Health, and VFW Post 8577. The event was able to run smoothly thanks to help from Scouts BSA Troop 251 G and Venture Crew 258 who helped with checking people in and serving food and beverages. In addition to dancing and tasty refreshments, they also held a best original mask contest and voted on a king and queen for the prom.
Jeri Wood, Community Outreach Specialist, said that this dance event had been on the calendar for last year but was ultimately cancelled due to the shutdown caused by the pandemic, so she was happy to put it back on the calendar for this year. Wood said that although it was not planned that way, it was nice to have a big event to kick off the reopening of the Senior Center.
Wood said that she was surprised at how many of her seniors had not gone to a prom or who had never heard of prom. She said that it was exciting to have an event for them that some of them had never experienced before. More than that, she said that it was important to be able to give the seniors an event to help them get back into the world and give them something to look forward to.
“The seniors love to get out and be social with each other,” said Wood. “They have spent a year and a half trying to figure out how to not sit in their homes or sit in their rooms and not die of loneliness and boredom…So it’s a big deal that the seniors are able to get out and be with people who care about them.”
Throughout the night, many of the seniors enjoyed getting out and dancing to various songs. Members of the Five Hills Royalty also attended the event and spent much of the time dancing with anyone who could use a dance partner.
Despite being in a wheelchair, Kathy Anderson came out and enjoyed the event dancing both alone and with multiple dance partners. By the end of the night, Anderson was voted Prom Queen.
“It’s a shock. I didn’t think it would happen at all. It’s an honor. It’s great. I assumed they’d vote for a couple,” said Anderson about winning the title of Prom Queen.
Anderson said that she had just come out to the event to have a good time.
“I like to dance even though I’m in a wheelchair. I don’t let it stop me,” said Anderson. “I think it’s a great event. A lot of us as seniors didn’t go to their own prom, so to have one now is wonderful. And to have an outing—because the seniors have basically been told to sequester at home, and it’s been lonely for most of us. So to actually have an outing is great…It’s so refreshing to be able to socialize again.”
For John Geydos, attending the event was a way to hang out with friends and encourage the other seniors to socialize and have a good time.
“I just wanted to be with my friends. I know a lot of these seniors and I just enjoy being with them,” said John Geydos about why he wanted to attend the event. “It’s really fantastic. I’m really glad that it has a good turnout.”
By the end of the event, Geydos was voted the Prom King. He spent most of the night dancing with anyone who wanted to dance with him—at times dancing with multiple people at once—and had a great time doing so.
“I’m just trying to get them out and enjoy life,” said Geydos. “My intention is to dance with every one of them. Whether man or woman, it doesn’t matter. We’re going to get them up, get them moving, and having fun.”
The Senior Activity Center’s next big dance event is planned for August with a Hoedown.
The senior center now has extended hours (8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday – Friday). They plan to bring back meals on Tuesdays and Fridays, Bingo, and yoga classes. They are looking for volunteers to teach exercise classes and to help in the kitchen. If you have an idea for a future event or want more information about the senior center, feel free to call (254) 547-6049.