Pom Pom Team at Friendship Village Senior Living

As declared by the iconic Cindi Lauper song, "Girls just want to have fu-unn."

This is very much the case at Friendship Village in Schaumburg, where the "girls," who are residents of the senior living community, have launched a pom pom squad. The song to which they are choreographing their first routine is Lauper's number one hit and reflects the squad's personality admirably and accurately.

"The idea first came about as a couple of residents approached Friendship Village Lifestyles Director Jill Steco after having watched the movie 'Poms,' starring Diane Keaton. They thought it would be fun to start a pom pom squad here, similar to the one in the movie," said Steco. Enthusiastic about developing programming based on residents' interests and requests, Steco loved the idea and agreed to lead the squad.

"I was captain of our pom pom squad in high school and college. 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," she said.

The pom pom squad has drawn approximately one dozen participants ages 79-93.

During COVID, when the residents were remaining within their apartments, Steco produced videos of sections of the routine. She shared these with her "squad" so they could view them on TV and mirror her, practicing remotely. Now, with more than 94% of the residents having been vaccinated, they're back, getting their groove on in person.

Squad member Arlene Burke (79) said, "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, in which case, what are you waiting for? You've got nothing to lose! It's just so much fun!"

Friendship Village

Friendship Village is a leading Life Plan retirement community offering independent living garden homes and apartment homes, as well as assisted living, memory support, skilled nursing care, and short and long-term rehabilitation services. For more than 40 years, Friendship Village has been providing Chicago area seniors with exceptional retirement living options. For additional information, visit

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.