NORWICH – Prom season is here, and many hearts are beating just a little faster in anticipation of that special night, but this year, the senior citizens will be giving teens a run for their money.
Maria Stamatatos, the owner of Gus’ Steakhouse in Norwich, said she knew she wanted to see more done for senior citizens, so she decided to take the initiative. “I knew I wanted to do something, and this came to me because of the timing,” said Stamatatos. Gus’ will be closing down on Sunday to hold its first Senior Citizens’ Prom.
“It means a lot for me to let the seniors have a wonderful evening,” Stamatatos said. When she began planning, she was hoping to have 30 to 40 seniors attend the event. She held a Chinese Auction and 15 regular customers made baskets to donate to the event, but as the word spread, more and more seniors called to ask what they needed to do to attend. Approximately 80 seniors are now expected to attend the event.
The night will be filled with music, dancing, food and fun. Entertainment will be provided by Rich Wilson, a singer who specializes in entertaining seniors. “Ninety-nine percent of our seniors are mobile, two are in wheelchairs. I hope the majority will be up and dancing,” said Stamatatos. At least four members of the Amber Perkins dance school will be attending the event to make sure everyone has a dance partner.
The Senior Citizens’ prom is going to be much like a typical prom. A prom court will be announced and a king and queen will be crowned. “The plan is to have them keep their crowns and come back to crown the winners next year.” In addition, over 150 small gifts will be given out the night of the event. Kim Burrell has agreed to make corsages for the guests. The restaurant owner says she appreciates all of the help she has received in preparing for the event...