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Restaurant Waiters Stand in for Missing Prom Dates

June 17, 1991

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) _ Aimee Aronson, dressed in a white formal gown, and Vicki Orton, in pink, sat in the appointed restaurant and waited for their dates to the senior prom.

It didn’t take long for the 18-year-old North Central High School seniors to realize they’d been stood up.

″They were supposed to meet us at 8:15 p.m.,″ Miss Aronson said. ″By 9 p.m., we knew they weren’t coming. All we could think of was how we were going to get out of there without looking totally stupid.″

The girls’ plight touched Beth Sayers, dinner manager at Clinkerdagger’s Restaurant where the girls waited at a table with two empty chairs.

″The entire staff was heartbroken for them,″ she said. ″They were in this incredible situation and they didn’t know how to get out of it.″

Sayers asked the girls if they’d mind being escorted to the prom by two waiters she recruited to be Prince Charmings.

Bob Miller, 24, phoned his mother, who brought down a spare tuxedo shirt and cummerbund. Bruce Hardie, 29, had his own tuxedo.

Hardie also had approval from his wife of six months, who was excited to see the Australian attend his first American prom.

″We tried to do the right thing from the word go,″ Hardie said. ″We had them call their parents to ask if it was OK.″

The restaurant not only supplied the dates, but paid for the hors d’oeuvres the girls ate while they waited. Sayers gave the waiters money to pay for pictures and other expenses at the prom.

″Sure, it was a nice thing, but what the girls did was far more courageous,″ Miller said. ″Bruce and I had the easy part. In the face of embarrassment and humiliation, these girls went to their prom.

″It took a lot of guts, and they should be very proud of themselves.″

For a couple of hours, the girls and their last-minute dates danced and chatted and had their pictures taken at a nearby convention center where the prom was held. Then they returned to the restaurant and the girls headed off to a party.

″We had an excellent time,″ Miss Orton said.

Neither girl had much to say about the dates who stood them up.

″We don’t really want to know,″ Miss Aronson said. ″They’re OK guys, but they’ve been jerks lately.″

As for the waiters-turned-prom-dates, the girls were most appreciative.

″They were the nicest, sweetest guys you’ve ever met,″ Miss Aronson said. ″Because of them, it turned out to be the most memorable moment I’ve ever had.

″It made my high school year.″

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