Heritage Woods holds prom for senior citizens


Volunteers from Alpha Kappa Lambda and Huskie Paws for a Cause dance with residence of Heritage Woods Assisted Living Community on Thursday at their Senior Prom event.

By Alan Kozeluh

A Parisian skyline could be seen behind a tuxedo-clad crooner as he sang Frank Sinatra songs to a crowd Thursday.

It was the senior prom at Heritage Woods assisted living community, 2626 N. Annie Glidden Road. Residents gathered in the main room to listen to music and dance with NIU student volunteers.

One of the main draws of the evening was professional singer Larry Breidenbach.

“He’s a favorite here,” Krueger said. “He comes quite often.”

Breidenbach is a retired teacher who sings for special occasions in his spare time. He’s sang for Heritage Woods for about five years.

He said that the dances have become more lively since NIU students started coming out.

The event’s theme was “A Night in Paris,” and the room featured French decorations and a photo area was set up to look like a Paris café.

It had been four or five years since Heritage Woods had held a prom, but resident service coordinator Julie Krueger said the sweetheart dance held around Valentine’s Day was so popular organizers wanted to do another one.

Krueger said that the presence of the NIU students livened up the atmosphere.

“They get them out there,” Krueger said. “Otherwise they don’t step out of their comfort zones.”

Volunteers came from the Alpha Kappa Lambda fraternity and Huskie Paws for a Cause. Some volunteers arrived early to do hair and makeup for the female residents.

“A lot of them didn’t wanna come if they couldn’t wear a dress,” Krueger said. “A lot of them got dressed up. It’s nice to see.”

Resident Sandra Larson’s husband Larry came out for the prom.

“I thought it was just perfect,” Larson said. “Appropriate in every way.”