NEGAUNEE - For Carrie and Melvin Hoiem of Palmer, prom is a chance to spend time with friends, dance and have fun. But this isn't just any prom.
It's the Negaunee Senior Center's Senior Prom, where senior citizens and the public can spend time together and have fun. They even elect a prom king and queen.
"It is a really fun time for folks to come and get their grove on and eat a meal and enjoy each others company," Negaunee Senior Center social worker Lindsay Juricek said.
"We do dances typically every other month," Juricek said. "We have had dances here for a long time and there are people who make the rounds and go to all the different dances."
Carrie, 89, and Melvin, 92, make it to all the dances and have been square dancing together for over 20 years. They were also on the dance committee that planned all the dances. Carrie had never been to a prom before the Negaunee Senior Center started putting them on in 2008, because her high school didn't have one. The pair has had the honor of being elected prom king and queen two years running.
"Well, they're fun, exciting and everybody has a good time," Carrie said. "I had never been to a prom before I came here and I was already over 80-years old."
Lavern Martin, 77, of Negaunee also makes it to all the different dances but this will be her first prom. She comes from a family of dancers and knows how to line dance, tango, rumba, waltz and cha cha, even though she hasn't had any formal training.
"It just came naturally to me. Our whole family was dancers," Martin said. "I can follow really easy if somebody leads me."
She enjoys dancing the waltz but has trouble finding a partner for that. She still loves going to dances even without a partner because she can still dance with her girlfriends.
"We all dance. It's fun, even if you dance with other women, at least you're moving your body and that's important when you get old," Martin said.
Senior Prom will be from 2-6 p.m. April 27 at the Negaunee Senior Center. Tickets are $6 in advance, and can be obtained at the center from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Tickets at the door are $8 per person. Dinner will be served for an optional additional $4. Dinner tickets will be available at the door only. There will be live music performed by the Hart Beats as well as door prizes, raffles and refreshments. Formal attire is recommended, but is optional.
For more information about the Senior Prom or to buy tickets, call 475-6266.
Sylvia Stevens can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 240.