For one evening only, The Timbers of Shorewood was transformed into a carnival as guests were invited to take part in its annual Seniors’ Senior Prom.
The June 23 event provided an opportunity for people to enjoy food, live entertainment and games, and staff had the help of students from Joliet Catholic Academy and Joliet West High School to make it a reality.
“It’s bringing joy to people,” said Faith Ann Varga, executive director of The Timbers of Shorewood. “That’s what it’s all about.”
A number of memories were created throughout the evening as people dropped in.
A gypsy was telling fortunes, a lion was roaming the grounds and a man was walking on stilts.
“A lot of these seniors never went to a prom,” Varga said. “Don’t forget in their lifetime, a lot of them didn’t even go to high school. So, this is just showing them, giving them that opportunity that, ‘Oh, my god. This is what a prom is like.’ To bring these kind of memories, I’ve had people to say to me, ‘You know I never went to prom, and here I’m went to a prom.’”
Seniors’ Senior Prom typically brings in between 200 and 350 people.
Mary Duchene, of Shorewood, said she was enjoying all of what the event offered.
“[It’s nice] just the people—a lot of people,” she said.
Duchene said she moved into The Timbers of Shorewood three months ago.
This was Duchene’s first time going to a prom.
“They didn’t have [proms when I went to school,]” she said. “We went like a half a day.”
Irene Miller, of Joliet, was seated at a table with some friends enjoying live entertainment. She said she is glad they decided to drop in.
“This is very, very nice,” Miller said.
Miller’s friend, Gen Houck, also of Joliet, agreed.
“It’s interesting—the music, the food and the people,” she said. “[It’s nice] to see the people enjoying themselves.”
Attending Seniors’ Senior Prom was not a first for Miller or Houck.
“We were here last year,” Miller said. “It was really nice—the entertainment, the food. We wanted to see The Timbers [of Shorewood.] It’s really nice.”
The event has a way of bringing out residents who might not always come out of their living quarters at The Timbers of Shorewood, Varga said.
“They come out for this,” Varga said. “They may not come out for a lot of things, but they come out for this because it’s all special. They want to see all the things that we made, all the decorations.”
Varga added that a lot of families drop in for Seniors’ Senior Prom.
“It’s just a lot of fun, a lot of enjoyment,” Varga said. “You want to bring happiness to people, and that’s what we try to do at the Timbers [of Shorewood,]” Varga said.