AVON LAKE — Sixth-graders at Troy Intermediate School brought special guests to Senior Prom on Friday night.
Only, no one wore tuxedos or fancy dresses, and there were no limos dropping guests off at the doorway.
There were plenty of people wearing jeans, baseball hats and Cleveland sports-themed T-shirts and jackets.
For more than 20 years, sixth-graders have been bringing their grandparents to Troy Intermediate’s version of Senior Prom, said sixth-grade social studies teacher Marty Walsh.
Walsh, who has been spearheading the event for 15 years with the Troy Intermediate PTA members and other parent volunteers, said it’s great to see children interacting with their grandparents.
“It’s a ‘meeting of the generations,’” Walsh said Friday night.
On Friday, about 80 students brought their grandparents to the event themed “Cleveland Champions Through Time,” which included hot dogs, popcorn, desserts, cornhole, a photo booth and entertainment provided by Music Connection.
Sitting with his grandparents, sixth-grader Noah Adkins, 12, admitted he thought the event would be a perfect way to start a fun weekend.
“I thought it would be fun and kind to take my grandparents, so I signed them up and they all came,” Noah said, smiling.
At his table, Mike and Barb Amantea, of Avon Lake, and Tom and Brenda Adkins, of Vermilion, chatted about the prom, and how they didn’t mind their oldest grandson signed them up to attend without really asking their permission first.
“We didn’t want to miss it,” Brenda Adkins said.
Both couples agreed they enjoy spending time with all of their grandchildren, but that the dance was the first event catered toward Noah and them.
“We like to do things with our grandson,” Mike Amantea said.
Sixth-grader Katie Tillery, 11, also brought her four grandparents — Mark and Arlene Jaroscak, of Avon Lake, and Don and Bonnie Tillery, of Painesville.
“I didn’t have to convince them to come,” Katie said as she munched on a popcorn ball. “It seemed like fun.”
The generation barrier didn’t faze Katie.
“I knew the ‘Cheeseburger’ song,” she said, referring to Jimmy Buffett’s 1978 hit “Cheeseburger in Paradise.”
And, before the night ended, Katie took to the dance floor with her grandfathers by her side and her grandmothers capturing the event on camera.
Troy Intermediate School Principal Andy Peltz said Senior Prom is a tradition at the school and allows for grandparents to interact with their grandchildren, aside from attending a choir concert.
“This allowed for them to see the school and it’s almost like a rite of passage for the sixth-graders to bring their grandparents to the school,” Peltz said. “And they love it. Some grandparents call because they want to know about the date. We need activities so the grandparents can spend special time with their grandkids.”