Marin Co. retirement home hosts 'senior prom' with local high schoolers for 1st time since pandemic

ByTim Johns via KGO logo
Sunday, November 6, 2022
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On Friday, the Redwoods Senior Living Community in Marin held its annual senior prom with local high school students.

MILL VALLEY, Calif. (KGO) -- From the outside looking in, it was a night decades in the making.

On Friday, the Redwoods Senior Living Community in Marin held its annual senior prom.

"I've got my shiny clothes on. I don't have any prom dresses anymore. I don't even own a skirt anymore," said Vava Bailey.

The event, which has been a tradition at the retirement community, was put on hold for several years because of the pandemic.

But this fall, it's back and bigger than ever -- with local high school students joining dozens of seniors for a night of dancing, laughter and fun.

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"I can just tell you I'm very excited. I would be delighted to dance with a boy from the high school," said Wendy Oser.

But for many, the evening isn't just a night to enjoy themselves. It's also an opportunity to re-live a part of their lives in a whole new way.

Two people that might be the most true for, are Grace Dammann and her partner, Audrey Hazen.

The two met each other several years ago while living at The Redwoods.

"I love, love, love her zest for life," Dammann said.

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During our interview, the pair told ABC7 News about their lives, both as a couple and also as individuals before they knew each other.

They say while they both attended their own high school proms many years ago, they weren't necessarily experiences they enjoyed -- coming to age at a time when being a gay person simply wasn't accepted.

"One time I was the queen of the prom, and I went by myself. So that was an interesting year, as a senior. I just didn't want to ask a king," Hazen said.

That makes this prom all the more special for the couple -- a night made even more memorable by being crowned the two prom queens.

Audrey and Grace say they live their lives day by day, uncertain of what the future may hold.

But no matter what comes their way, they tell me they're grateful to spend the remainder of their time together.

"We don't have that many dances, so it's very special," Hazen said.

If you're on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live