At Friendship Village, a senior living community in Schaumburg, IL, the young-at-heart ladies wanted to have some fun. So, they did. 

A few of the residents first approached Jill Steco, the director of Friendship Village Lifestyles, after watching the movie “Poms,” starring Diane Keaton. The film inspired them to start a pom-pom squad of their own.

Steco immediately warmed to the idea. Because of her background as captain of her high school and college pom-pom squad, she also agreed to lead the team.

“It’s like riding a bike; you don’t forget how to do things. I thought, ‘I’ve done this and enjoyed it,’ so I started the program for them,” Steco said. 

Approximately a dozen residents, aged 79 to 93, put their poms together and choreographed their first routine to Cindi Lauper’s “Girls just want to have fun.” When residents were quarantining in their apartments during the COVID-19 pandemic, Steco made videos of the routine sections so her squad could mirror her and practice social distance-style. 

Since then, 94% of the residents have been vaccinated, and the squad now is jamming together in-person.

“This brings back fond memories for people who did poms in high school or college and fulfills dreams for people who just always wanted to,” said one of the members, Arlene Burke.

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