Moving America Forward

This Inspiring Teen Took His Great-Grandmother to Prom

May 8, 2014
This Inspiring Teen Took His Great-Grandmother to Prom
Mario Tama/Getty Images
Austin Dennison knew she didn't attend her own dance, so he gave her the opportunity several decades later.

Most high schoolers dream of spending prom with friends, reminiscing on the past four years of school. But 19-year-old Austin Dennison had another idea when it came to the special night. He used it as an opportunity to give his great-grandmother a chance to experience the quintessential American high school tradition.

The senior at Parkway High School in Rockford, Ohio knew his 89-year-old great-grandmother, Delores Dennison, was never afforded the opportunity to attend prom.

“I asked her if she would be my prom date,” Austin told Fox News. “How cool would it be to take my great-grandmother to prom?”

The Eagle Scout; band member; and football, baseball, and basketball athlete took the idea from his economics teacher, who shared a similar story of his brother taking his grandmother to prom. Austin then called his “Granny DD” to pop the question.

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“He was so sweet and adamant about it,” Delores said. “I asked him, ‘But are you sure that you wouldn’t like to take one of the young ladies who could get out there and do everything with you?’ He said no. ‘I want you.’”

The night was as perfect and charming as one could imagine. The young suitor serenaded his great-grandmother with a song and gifted her with a pearl necklace. Delores wore a blue dress and Austin’s father drove the two to a dinner at Bob Evans, one of Delores’s favorite restaurants. Upon their arrival at the dance, the two were introduced at the promenade, where Austin’s classmates give them a standing ovation.

As a stroke survivor with heart trouble, Delores’s energy may have been a bit limited — but that didn’t stop this formerly-spry granny from hitting the dance floor.

“It was wonderful and I just loved all the girls in their fancy gowns and the gentlemen in their tuxedos. It was quite a night,” she said. “Everyone there just could not have been more polite. Everyone got an A+.”

But that wasn’t the only surprise Austin had in store for his great-grandma. The admirable grandson had requested the Frank Sinatra tune “How I love the kisses of Delores,” a song that his great-grandfather used to croon to his great-grandmother.

“I chose that song because Grandpa Ed used to sing that song to her,” Austin said. “We shared that dance. It was really sweet.”