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More than 500 seniors and teen volunteers crowded into the Fike High School cafeteria to enjoy food, music and friendship at Saturday night’s seventh annual Senior-Senior Prom, organized by the Wilson Crisis Center and the Wilson Family YMCA.
“I’ve been to every one of these proms,” said attendee Phyllis Bailey. “Every year, the seniors in the senior club at my church come to this prom. We enjoy seeing everyone, the fellowship, and you know, just having a good time.”
“This is the first year that my mother, Sadie Speight — who is 96 years old — has missed,” Bailey continued. “She wanted to come so bad, but her health wouldn’t allow her to get out.”
This was also the first year Bailey attended without her husband, who passed away last November.
“I’m just starting to get out a little more,” Bailey said.
The seniors were escorted into Fike High School, which was decorated in a “Starry Starry Night” theme, by middle and high school student volunteers. These same volunteers then served dinner, provided by Parker’s Barbecue. Area favorite The Monitors provided music for dancing that ranged from classics such as “Mustang Sally” to line dance staple, “The Electric Slide.”
Nancy Sallenger, executive director of the Wilson Crisis Center, ran into a slight problem this year when her regular baker was unable to provide cupcakes for this year’s event. She called Christa Mercer with the Fike High School culinary program.
“I explained to her that I had no one to make cupcakes for our prom this year and would be honored if her students could help us,” Sallenger said. “She jumped at the chance to do the baking for us even after I told her it would be 500 cupcakes.”
Bailey Bass, a senior at Fike High School, has volunteered at the Senior-Senior Prom since she was a sophomore.
“This prom gives back to the community,” Bailey said. “It gives the senior citizens a chance to get out, feel young, feel free and get to do things that they might not usually do.”
“And I love this event,” Bailey continued. “I love helping people, love volunteering and helping out in the community and this event fills my heart with joy just to see all these people getting out, still dancing, having fun and mingling with people.”
Organizers said that before each prom is over, seniors are already requesting to be put on the list for the next year’s prom.
“You don’t want the evening to end,” Bailey. “Everyone has such a good time.”