Formal dresses swished across the Hugh Chatham Nursing Home floor on Friday night, as residents mingled and dined at the Whispering Hopes formal.
The event was the grand finale of National Nursing Home Week. Throughout the week, staff and residents were celebrated through Harley bike rides, hayrides and a live butterfly release.
“We had over 200 people show up for the formal, which was well beyond our expectation,” said Hugh Chatham Nursing Center administrator, Lindsay Smith.
The formal dance and other National Nursing Home events were a response to wishes of the residents.
“A lot of the stuff we’ve done have come from the bucket list of the residents,” Smith said. “One resident fell this week and had to be taken to the hospital. But she made sure that she was back in time for the hayride and the formal.
The formal dresses that the residents wore were provided by the nursing center staff.
The strains of big band jazz, 1950s and 1960s came out of the nursing home dining area, providing the music for several of the resident’s first prom.
Along with dancing, there were also heavy hors d’oeuvre and formal photos taken by Keith Bills. Phillip and Janet Mendenhall were the Master of Ceremonies for the event.
Alfreda Abrams, who was there with her parents Avril and Leatha Cockeran, said her parents never were able to go to a prom together.
“They have been married 55 years and this is their first prom together,” Abrams said. “They were so excited to get dressed up and come.”
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