Senior prom needs no age limit

Event helps Ponte Vedra Gardens’ residents unlock memories


The Ponte Vedra Gardens Memory Care Community proved that proms are not just for seniors in high school can be just as fun for senior citizens.

Ponte Vedra Gardens held a prom for its residents on June 13 with the theme of “under the sea,” so it featured several ocean-themed elements and decorations, including activities director Dee Stanziano wearing an octopus dress that made her look like Ursula from "The Little Mermaid."

The residents helped the staff at Ponte Vedra Gardens transform into an under-water spectacle by helping make many of the artwork and decorations on display.

The decorations included a giant octopus that hung from the chandelier in the center of the room and had legs that stretched across the room.

“It has been a labor of love for us all over the past month of preparation,” Stanziano said.

According to Stanziano, not only was the prom event a great way for the residents to socialize and have fun, but by helping with the decorations used it also helps bring back some memories.

“It leads them to look back to what they went to prom years ago and it can trigger some memories they have,” Stanziano said. “It hits levels of creativeness, cognitive and social benefits.”

Clay mermaid necklaces were made by the residents and handed out to those in attendance and there was also some artwork made from shells found on the shores of a local beach.

The event also had food and drink options, with shrimp being a main delight to fit the sea theme, while songs were played, and karaoke and dancing even took center stage at points throughout.

The highlight of the event was the crowning of the prom king and queen, which went to Lou and Ardis Lomheim, who will celebrate their 74th wedding anniversary on June 21.

“It’s just incredible to see all the smiles on the faces and how much this event has meant to everyone,” Stanziano said.