By Chelsea Lacey-Mabe
PRINCETON, NJ (CBS) — Prom is always a special occasion for high-schoolers but last week a different group of seniors had the chance to join in the excitement.
Brandywine Senior Living, based in Mount Laurel hosted a prom for centenarians—all of the 100-year-olds and those close to it that reside in their senior living communities throughout New Jersey.
The theme was “Puttin’ on the Ritz” and they danced to songs like Nat King Cole’s Route 66 and Somewhere Beyond the Sea by Bobby Darin.
Phil Yanich and Martha Munster, both 103, were crowned Prom King and Queen. The honor was especially memorable for Munster since it was her first prom. Originally from Germany, she didn’t immigrate to the US until she was 21 and already past her high school years.
Students from Princeton University escorted the seniors.
“My evening with Ellen was absolutely wonderful,” said Princeton senior Abby Lissanu. “Spending time with a woman who is so well traveled, funny, smart, and beautiful absolutely made my week. A love of fashion can make a friendship between a 21 year old and a 93 year old happen instantly!”
Other students from Princeton’s Music is Medicine singing group helped coordinate the musical entertainment for the night.
One of Brandywine’s oldest residents, Helen Turner unfortunately couldn’t make it. She was still recovering from her 109th birthday celebration earlier in April!
“I would have loved to be with you tonight but I’m still recovering from my 109th birthday,” Turner said in video posted on Facebook. “I have to take it easy but I hope you all have a wonderful time and I love you all.”
This was the first Centenarian prom and the seniors are already hoping there will be another next year!