PERRIS, Calif. (May 20, 2019) –– The City of Perris and Live Well Perris hosted the sixth annual Senior Prom, “A Night in Paris,” on Saturday, May 18, 2019 at the Bob Glass Gymnasium.
In a night to remember, City staff from the Perris Community Services Department turned the gymnasium into a scene even Marie Antoinette would have appreciated. More than 200 senior citizens attended the event and upon ticket purchase, were treated to dinner, entertainment and dance floor.
Perris Mayor Michael Vargas talked about how the real reward is in the smiling faces of all the participants and how the event generates interest from residents in other cities as well.
“Just walking around and seeing all the smiles and greeting everyone – it just means a great deal to me. We do a lot for our seniors and seeing them happy is what it’s all about, said Vargas. “We even get people from other cities, so that’s pretty good community engagement.”
Participants danced the night away from hits from past and present by “Doc Rock It.” All seniors received complimentary portraits.
“It’s a good event because it allows the seniors to get out and enjoy each other’s company and dance and enjoy the music of their past with modern music and a great price for the event,” said Perris Council Member, David Starr Rabb.
Rabb also mentioned how events like the Senior Prom can keep seniors involved in the community. “It’s important to have these types of events and activities to do so they can stay active in their community,” said Rabb.
The Senior Prom moves forward the City’s Live Well Perris initiative, providing healthy and fun activities to all Perris residents.
As part of the “healthy eating, active living” (HEAL) campaign, the Senior Prom provides seniors with a chance to get out and move a bit on the dance floor, socialize with their peers, enjoy a meal and share a few laughs.
Council Member Rita Rogers recalled how this event has been a local favorite since its inception and it only seems to get better.
“When we first started this six years ago, it was the hit of the town. It was wonderful because we had seniors coming in limousines who had never even been to their own proms, said Rogers. “Each year it gets better and better. People even want to come from out of the area and we have a wonderful time.
Rogers also showed appreciation to our senior citizens. Said Rogers, “We have a big senior citizen population, so it’s really important to do a lot for our seniors.”
The city’s Youth Advisory Committee helped serve meals to the seniors, which included chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, vegetables, a quinoa salad and dessert.
Brenda Cruse and Vera Madison had waited anxiously for the event and could hardly contain their excitement when the day finally arrived.
Cruse, who attended the event in previous years, was happy to have a reason to go out and feel young again.
“It’s just nice to dress up and come out and enjoy ourselves,” said Cruse.
Madison said she was excited to have some place to go because at times now she goes out eat and people are in jeans and don’t often dress as nice.
Said Madison, “It’s kind of nice to just dress up and come to a place where you can have fun and be yourself and just come alive again, because we are not dead yet.”
Cruse echoed Madison’s words. “We are definitely not dead yet.”
When asked what his favorite part of the event was, Mayor Vargas was like most of the anticipating guests. “Crowning the king and queen. Absolutely.”
As for the prom king, David Valdovinos, 82, took home the crown and Theresa Gomez, 66, was proclaimed prom queen. Both were presented with crowns and sashes by Mayor Vargas, Council Member Rabb and Council Member Rogers, Perris Assistant City Manager Isabell Carlos and Perris Director of Community Services Sabrina Chavez.
It was a night for everyone to remember that ended with plenty of smiling faces, some new dance moves learned and show of support and appreciation for the senior citizens in the Perris community.