The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

November 14, 2013

VIDEO: Pi Beta Sigma stages prom for nursing home residents

By Kim West

— Toe-tapping dance tunes filled the commons area at Limestone Senior Rehab & Recovery Tuesday night, as smiling residents mingled with high school students during a prom staged by the Athens-based Pi Beta Sigma sorority.

The community service sorority’s 55 members spent nearly two hours dancing and chatting with the more than 25 residents who joined the party.

Ten escorts that accompanied Pi Beta members, four chapter advisors and the facility staff also took part in the prom, which included the “The Electric Slide” and “The Chicken Dance.”

Pi Beta President Keely Turner, 17, and her fellow officers helped bestow traditional prom titles on four residents, who were presented with glittery crowns and satin sashes.

Guy King, 90 and his honorary sweetheart, Rachel McNatt, 83, were crowned king and queen, along with Sammy Bryant, 82, and Nelda Vick, 76.

Following a raucous round of group photos, the nursing home staff thanked the students for providing lively entertainment for the residents.

“This means so much to our seniors, and it made a bright spot in their evening,” said Edie Belue, director of social and resident services.

Jack Cannon, 85, the great-uncle of Councilman Joseph Cannon and uncle of Dr. Joe Cannon, said he moved into the 170-bed nursing home three weeks ago.

He stayed the duration of the prom and said Turner danced a few rounds with him by “holding my hand and jigging around” his wheelchair.

“It was lively, and I enjoyed seeing everybody,” said Cannon.

Turner said Pi Beta has visited the facility in previous years to distribute holiday cards and greet residents, but she said the group decided to plan the prom instead.

“It just turned out great, and we want to continue to grow this event,” said Turner, a senior at Athens High School.