Bridge the Generational Gap Through Dance: The Second Annual Intergenerational Prom
The Project Generations clubs at Ithaca College and Cornell University co-hosted their second annual Intergenerational Prom on April 7 in Emerson Suites from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the Ithaca College campus. The featured theme of this year’s prom is old Hollywood. The aim of the prom is to bring older adults together with students to combat the negative results of aging, such as neglect, depression and loneliness. Last year, more than 100 senior citizens attended the extravagant event, and the event was even larger this year, with nearly 100 students and 100 seniors in attendance.
Project Generations is a student-run club that attempts to bridge the generational gap between student volunteers and older adults, providing the two groups with companionship, social support and mental stimulation. The Intergenerational Prom gives both seniors and students the chance to dress and dance their best while enjoying live music, light refreshments and the potential to collect some awesome prizes.
Sarah Parker, an IMC major at IC in the class of 2014, has experienced the benefits of Project Generations firsthand, having grown close to her older adult companion. “It has been very enlightening,” said Sarah. “I’ve learned a lot about her life and past. She has been able to open my eyes to different ways and help me realize the simplicities in life.”
Sarah is deeply involved with Project Generations and has worked to plan the transportation provided for seniors this year. Last year, Ithaca mayor, Svante Myrick, announced the prom queen and king and he attended this year’s banquet as well!
During the 2013 OSEMA recognition ceremony, Project Generations received the Student Organization Program of the Year Award and the Outstanding Service Organization Award. The 2014 OSEMA award ceremony takes place on April 28, 2014, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in Emerson Suites. Project Generations relies on fundraising efforts to maintain and sustain the program. Project Generations had a successful fundraiser at Yogurtland in early March. All donations and gifts are greatly appreciated and anyone wishing to donate may do so by going to www.ithaca.edu/giving
A group of Ithaca College students founded Project Generations in the fall of 2010 after establishing a partnership with the Tompkins County Office for the Aging. In the fall of 2011, Cornell University established its own chapter that works closely with the chapter at IC. Students meet with their older companions once a week at Longview’s residential living community in Ithaca.
For more information on Project Generations, visit www.projectgenerations.org or follow the Ithaca College and Cornell University chapters on Facebook or Twitter.
Contributed by Ben Feig, IMC Major, Class of 2015.