By Julie Huss
---- — DERRY — They finally got to attend their prom.
For friends Dagmar Frizzell and Siegrun Vogel, it was a first; they didn’t have proms growing up in Germany.
The pair were among a room full of local senior citizens enjoying the annual Senior Citizen Prom last Sunday. The afternoon was hosted by Pinkerton’s Class of 2015.
“I never had a prom,” Vogel said.
She and Frizzell, along with friends Grace Thomas and Kay Chism, dressed for the occasion in colorful Mardi Gras masks to go along with this year’s prom theme.
Although her high school didn’t have proms, Vogel said they had other social events that included dressing up and dancing.
Pinkerton has hosted the springtime prom for several years. This year, students took on the project as a community service effort.
The afternoon included a buffet meal, dancing, special treats and plenty of friendship.
“This is my first prom,” Vogel said.
She grew up in Germany and came to the United States 44 years ago. She said she didn’t want to miss this year’s prom.
Thomas also missed out on her high school prom; she left high school at the age of 16 to support her family.
“I love this, it’s my fourth time,” she said.
Teacher Jennifer Brown said her students take prom day very seriously, from choosing a theme to planning food and treats, and lining up the music.
The students also get excited about learning new dances with their older friends, she said.
“They came in, they decorated, it’s really a nice afternoon,” Brown said.
She said she sees many of the same faces each year at the prom. The older citizens love coming to Pinkerton to share time among friends and get to know the students who are treating them to a special day.
With the Mardi Gras theme in full swing, many visitors brought their own masks and beads to wear.
For the students, it’s also a lesson in bridging the generation gap, and sharing their own lives and prom memories with their older guests.
“It’s so much fun, it feels like we’re doing something really important,” said Sam Potter, a member of the Class of 2015.
Brown said it’s a learning experience all around and a great way to celebrate the prom spirit.
“They make connections on a different level,” she said.