An idea Hilliard Darby High School students had to share the experience of prom with senior citizens continues more than a decade later.
"Prom is a milestone and it was our idea to get plan something out in the community. We thought about our senior citizens who are not often connected, unless maybe though a grandchild, to our school and that's how is started," said Bryan O'Shea, a 2002 Darby graduate who was senior class president and today is principal of Grove City High School.
O'Shea said his wife, Katie (Simon) O'Shea, also was a student at Darby who helped plan the first event.
He said he was not aware until recently that Darby's prom fashion show has continued at the Phyllis A. Ernst Senior Center more than a decade later.
"I guess the idea stuck," O'Shea said.
The prom experience bridged generations during the latest fashion show May 17.
"It's something we've looked forward to doing," said senior Lauren Iosue, Darby's co-class president.
Iosue was among the 22 girls and 5 boys who modeled formal wear and exchanged stories with the senior citizens during the fashion show and luncheon.
"Everyone looks go glamorous (and) I loved hearing about their proms," said Marilyn Klein, 86, who said she moved to Hilliard from suburban Chicago 12 years ago.
Klein recalled she and her date were one of three couples who went to dinner together before their prom at a hotel, rather than the high school from where she graduated in 1948.
Cathy Snider, 81, graduated from West High School in 1953 and remembered going to the Florentine -- the Franklinton restaurant that closed in December-- and then to the prom at West, where she recalled an archway of roses.
Snider would marry her prom date, but not until in 1959, after he returned to Columbus following military service.
Klein and Snider learned that many Darby students had group dinner parties at their own residences before going to prom.
"We had a pasta dinner (at a friend's house and) then took a limo to prom," Iosue said.
"It's something our seniors (citizens) enjoy, and I think the Darby kids, too," said Beth Simon, program manager for the Hilliard Recreation and Parks Department.