GLEN ELIN, Illinois (CBS) – They went to the dance floor at a party exclusively for the elderly in the western suburbs of Glen Elin on Thursday night – after two years of waiting.
As Jermont Terry of CBS 2 reported, getting together means much more now after isolation in a pandemic.
On Thursday night, the parking lot for Abbington’s distinctive banquets at Route 53 and Butterfield Road was filled. Sure, it was raining, but a lot of people brought umbrellas, walkers and a few high-heeled shoes to get to the ballroom.
Carolyn Greer of Oswego is one of more than 700 seniors looking forward to her favorite tunes.
“Some are Freddie Jackson, some are Luther Vandross, and I’m now a fan of Adele,” she said.
Some bands ABBA and Wild Cherry were also on the playlist, among many others.
The senior dance is a cherished event for many.
“We’ve been in quarantine for a good year and a half. We’re finally starting to come out,” Greer said. “But it’s nice to be able to mix.”
There’s also something special about hitting the floor – especially with dear friends.
“It’s great to just go out, be with friends and enjoy life,” Julie Shaver said.
Mrs. Shaver of Lombard, as well as Beverly Ainsworth and Charlene Herbert of Napierville, are three longtime friends.
“It’s great to come to a dinner prepared for us, be with friends and dance,” Ainsworth said.
Herbert modestly said that she “used to be a dancer of the group.” That night she watched more – but was there much more to enjoy.
“We were very prepared for that,” Herbert said. “We have needed it for a long time, and we are grateful for it.”
The fact is that many older people did not survive the pandemic, and other older people felt isolated.
“What’s missing is socialization programs, and these are public lunch programs where seniors get together and socialize,” said Marilyn Krolak of DuPage Senior Citizens Council.
So, after a two-year break, the DuPage Senior Citizens Council is thrilled, and the dance floor has proven how crowded the seniors are going again.