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A roaring good time at the Great Gatsby-themed Bethany 'Senior' Prom

It's prom season in Statesboro, but this was a senior prom with a twist! Join Michele as she visits the Lodge at Bethany for a glitz and glamour-themed event planned by the Statesboro High School National Honor Society.
Prom King Fred Grist and Prom Queen Joyce Collins

A ‘Great’ time was had by ALL at the recent Roaring '20s Senior (Citizen) Prom at the Lodge at Bethany.

The Roaring ‘20s Great Gatsby Senior Prom was inspired by Gracie Cork, a senior at SHS and secretary of the National Honor Society, and her love of helping people by volunteering. Cork, along with 20 other students, signed up to host the prom during their Spring Break. Definitely selfless!

Vision and Planners for the Prom (L-R) Jerri Mathis, Gracie Cork, Shannon Anderson, Regina Bell. Michele LeBlanc

Full of drive and enthusiasm, Statesboro High’s NHS members were determined and delighted to create an event for The Lodge at Bethany residents. Anderson shared that each club is required to do at least one service project each year. This year, Friday, April 5, was their target date, and it's safe to say their project was a roaring success.

Shannon Anderson, National Honor Society advisor at Statesboro High School, said, “I don't know who had more fun -- the residents or the students. From where I was, it was hard to tell!”

Resident Carolyn Cannon with NHS members. Michele LeBlanc

Cork’s vision, involving a Nursing Home or Assisted Living facility, was presented by Anderson to Bethany. The idea became a ‘Plan and then a Prom.’ Jerry Mathis, Director of Engagement at Bethany, thought that it would be ‘FUN’ to have a prom with a ‘Roaring ‘20s'/Great Gatsby theme.

Mathis said she knew it would be beneficial to the residents to have high school students in the Lodge interacting with them. Plus, she said, she knew the experience would be a fun one! Cork had a two-fold goal: wanting residents to have FUN and secondly engaging her peers to become more INVOLVED by reaching out to the community and doing special projects.

Roaring '20s Senior Prom room view at Bethany. Shannon Anderson

‘Glitz and Glamour’ dominated the ‘Roaring ‘20s venue. This decade was FULL of exquisite fashions and music. It marked a period of economic prosperity with an endless supply of good times, jazz, flappers, and modern technology (automobiles, moving pictures, radio!).

The students arrived early to prepare for the prom guests. Most students were attired in Roaring ‘20s fashion, and gold, black and silver balloons, gold satin table runners, and feather and glass centerpieces decorated the dining room of Bethany, fully befitting of the theme.

Served at the Prom (L-R) Pat Tiller and Sue Berman. Michele LeBlanc

The students prepared a lavish buffet of pimento cheese sandwiches; pastry trays of chocolate chip cookies, red velvet cupcakes, and fudge brownies; and liquid libations of sparkling grape juice, fruit punch, and lemonade.

There was ample time to socialize and dance (learning the latest line dances from the teens), and residents even voted for ‘Prom King and Queen.’ It was a spectacular ‘Senior Prom’ full of smiles and laughter.

Prom King Fred Grist and Prom Queen Joyce Collins after being crowned. Michele LeBlanc

Regina Bell, Executive Director of The Lodge at Bethany added, “How exciting that we are able to showcase our residents and expose young people to what we do at Bethany, as well as to demonstrate how valuable the senior population is to each of us. We appreciate the support from these students, teachers, and all who help to make this event happen.” 

Gracie Cork was thrilled! Her goal to help others became a fun reality!

“I hope other schools will continue to be involved with special places like The Lodge at Bethany," she said. "We, my peers and myself, hope everyone there had as much fun as I did.” Cork's future plans are to be either a pediatric or neonatal nurse, stay busy, and continue volunteering.


“What started as a vision created from a video found on ‘YouTube’ became one of my favorite events during my time with SHS’s National Honor Society," Anderson added. "The members did a fabulous job, decorating, dancing, and socializing with the residents. I couldn't be more proud to be part of this special day.”

Congratulations SHS’s National Honor Society and Mrs. Anderson for taking a vision, promoting an idea, and making it a roaring reality!