Greenfields of Geneva resident, 88, attends her first ‘senior’ prom

Rosary senior coordinated prom event for GreenFields’ senior residents

Joane Blatt and Paul Reed at their 'senior' prom April 25, 2024. Rosary High School senior Jillian Ferraro, also president of the National Honor Society, organized the event for residents of GreenFields of Geneva, a senior living community.

GENEVA – Joane Blatt, 88, missed her senior prom 70 years ago because she’d already started college when the dance was held, according to a news release from GreenFields of Geneva, a senior community where she lives.

So on April 25, Blatt, a grandmother of seven, attended her first senior prom at GreenFields.

Jillian Ferraro of St. Charles, vice president of the National Honor Society at Rosary High School, coordinated the GreenFields prom event. She and other Rosary National Honor Society members and students at Marmion Academy all served as hosts.

“I had planned senior prom for Rosary last year for the graduating seniors when I was a junior,” Ferraro said in the release.

“It gave me the idea to plan a prom for the seniors at GreenFields. People don’t get the chance to dance all that often. And it would be a fun opportunity for them to dress up,” Ferraro said in the release. “All the members of the NHS jumped on board. Our brother community is Marmion Academy and some of the students from here came to help out.”

Rosary High School National Honor Society members participated in the 'senior' prom at GreenFields of Geneva. NHS President Jillian Ferraro of St. Charles, far left in front row, organized the event, held April 25, 2024 at the senior living facility.

As vice president of the Rosary NHS, Ferraro is responsible for suggesting and coordinating major service projects.

The event included a DJ who played music of Elvis, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and Bobby Darin.

Rosary and Marmion students participated in the dancing and socializing with the GreenFields residents, according to the release.

GreenFields Executive Director Elijah Heyboer said in the release that, “This was such a fun and meaningful event on so many levels.”

“For the students, it was a great way for them to interact with our wonderful residents. It was fun to watch them appreciate how active and engaged our residents are,” Heyboer said in the release.

“It also supported the students’ mission of giving back to the community. For the residents, it was energizing and entertaining to interact with the teens,” Heyboer said in the release. “At GreenFields, many of our favorite programs are intergenerational. We hope to have the prom become an annual event.”