Life Pittsburgh throws prom for its seniors


Birthday girl Selma Scott (center, with tiara) dances along with entertainer Trina Janura (left) and her friends from LIFE Pittsburgh at its first ever "Senior" Prom June 17. (Photo/Margaret Singer)

As gentlemen in suits and ladies with their hair done up walk into the room down the red carpet, a woman in a silver tulle skirt waits to have her picture taken at the photo center.

No one would fault you for mistaking the scene as a swanky Hollywood event, but this happened on the Northside on a beautiful, sunny afternoon.

Participants at LIFE Pittsburgh’s Allegheny Center spent the afternoon of June 17 dancing, singing and enjoying the festive party atmosphere at the first ever “Senior” Prom, arranged by staff for participants to relive their high school days and socialize with each other.

The theme was “Old Hollywood,” and most attendees were dressed to the nines. Even LIFE Pittsburgh staff got in on the fun by wearing elegant evening wear. Participants also had the chance to dress up with donated formalwear. The staff gave each lady a corsage to complement their outfits.

Wearing a glittery tiara given to her by the staff, LIFE Pittsburgh participant Barb Wilson said, “God has blessed me to live long enough to see a second prom.”

Her sentiment echoed the appreciation that was expressed by many other participants that day who went to their first prom decades ago. 

Pittsburgh area entertainer Trina Janura radiated energy into the crowd as she performed classic hits ranging from pop standards to ABBA and the Beatles. It did not take long for the crowd to get into her performance by clapping and singing along. Trina was joined by some participants who came to center stage to dance.

Rather than crown a prom queen, the staff honored birthday girl Selma Scott. She beamed as she was given a tiara and fluffy pink boa to wrap around her shoulders.

Although this is the first time LIFE Pittsburgh has had a prom at this location, staff member Lynette Ritenour said that the center usually arranges one event per month for participants.

LIFE Pittsburgh is an alternative to traditional nursing or assisted living homes. Its goal is to provide care to participants so they can maintain their lives in the community by living on their own. The Allegheny Center location, along with three other LIFE Pittsburgh locations, transports participants to the center so they can receive medical care and help with daily living activities that have become unmanageable.

Leah Shaffer said that a full staff of doctors is available to the participants as well as access to many services at UPMC locations.

For more information about enrolling yourself or a member in LIFE Pittsburgh, please call 412-388-8050.

Margaret Singer is currently working toward her master’s degree in journalism at Point Park University.

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