Going to prom is often the highlight of an 18-year-old’s junior year social calendar.
But when Drew Holm asked a pretty lady to be his prom date, he didn’t have romance in mind. Instead, Drew asked his 93-year-old great-grandmother, Katie Keith, to be his prom date.
The story started when Drew’s great-grandmother found out that Drew wasn’t going to prom.
“I told [my great-grandmother] that I wasn’t going to prom because I could care less about going.”
Ms Keith had attended her prom 75 years earlier at the same school that Drew currently attends, Crothersville Junior and Senior High School, in Crothersville, Indiana. Ms Keith had fond memories of her own prom experience, and didn’t like the idea of Drew missing out on his own prom night. As reported in Today, Ms Keith joked that she would help Drew out by going to prom with him.
“She said she had a dress she could wear to the prom and be my date. I took her serious.”
Drew took her at her word, and asked her several times if she would consider going to prom with him. Ms Keith assumed that Drew was joking, until she found a handmade “prom-posal” at her home – an official invitation to join Drew at his junior prom. Inside the card, Drew had written words that he knew his great-grandmother would not be able to resist.
“Every princess needs a tiara for the ball, will you be my princess for the prom?”
Ms Keith says she was pleased that Drew was showing interest in going to prom, but she reportedly told her grandson that he should find someone prettier as his date.
“I was like, ‘No, I can’t do that. You’re the prettiest woman.'”
Once his great-grandmother was on board, Drew had to approach his school and ask permission to bend the school rules and take someone over the age of 21 as his prom date. The school agreed to make an exception in the circumstances, and the date was set. Drew and his great-grandmother were going to prom.
When asked by Today if anything had changed in the “going to prom” experience in the past 75 years, Ms Keith said that it was the dancing that was most different, but that overall the experience of dressing up for a special night out was the same.
“The girls had formals and we had our Sunday best on because that’s all we had back then. We danced the waltz, four-step or jitterbug to a jukebox. Now, they have a DJ and they did line dancing. I told Drew I wish I was 10 years younger so I could do that because it looked fun.”
Of course, Jimmy Fallon didn’t miss out on the opportunity to comment on this unusual prom date, although he did it in his usual good-natured style.
— Fallon Tonight (@FallonTonight) May 12, 2015
In a refreshing change from the usual social media comments and opinions, most of the references to this 18-year-old going to prom with his great-grandmother have been entirely positive or have been good-natured, harmless jokes.
An Ind. teenager took his 93-yr.-old great-grandmother to his junior prom. The theme was “A Night to Remember…Where I Left My Eyeglasses.”
— Joe Toplyn (@JoeToplyn) May 9, 2015
Drew himself said that he has been surprised and touched by the kindness that he has been shown after going to prom with his great-grandmother.
“It was special that I got to take her. I have been able to show people that there is still good in the world. At the end of the day, though, I’m just a farm boy who took his great-grandmother to prom because he loves her.”
A similar story emerged 12 months ago in May, 2014, when Austin Dennison, a student from Rockford, Ohio, took his 89-year-old great-grandmother to prom after learning that she had not attended her own high school prom when she was a teenager. Good News Network reported that Austin took his great-grandmother Delores Dennison out for dinner at her favourite restaurant before going to prom.
[Photo: Kathie Rose/Today]