Wednesday, December 17, 2014

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NY1 examines the risks and rewards of love in modern times with its week-long series, "21st Century Matchmakers."

21st Century Matchmakers: Boomers Hit the Dance Floor at Singles Event

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As NY1 continues its coverage of how people find love in the 21st century, Amanda Farinacci looks at a weekly gathering for the 50-plus crowd on Staten Island that draws hundreds of singles looking to connect with people their own age.

It's Friday night at the Staten Island Hilton, and all feet are on the floor.

Those feet belong to dozens of Baby Boomers attending a wildly popular singles night aimed at a 50-plus crowd.

"I've met a lot of people here, especially my age, yes! I've met great guys here. I have a great time with them dancing and everything. This is the place I only come to," says attendee Tina Galant.

The singles night began about ten years ago, when hotel officials began to notice, week after week, an older crowd coming to dance and mingle in the hotel's bar.

They quickly hired a DJ to play 70's and 80's dance music, added some comfortable seating and spruced up the bar. The dance floor was recently replaced to accommodate the crowds.

"It really spread kind of like wildfire. People started coming with different friends of theirs. And we do advertise now, but we find we don't need to," says Kristine Garlisi.

Seventy-five-year-old Josie Lombardi heard about the mingle at one of her senior groups five years ago and has been coming ever since. She says there's nowhere else on Staten Island that offers a weekly night out for people her age.

"I don't want to go where they're all young. I mean, I like the younger guys, but I don't want to...because my sons are 50!" says Josie Lombardi.

Hotel staff say there have been a few love connections over the years, even a couple that ended in marriage.

Stella Homsey says she doesn't show up expecting to get a date, but she definitely prefers the idea of meeting someone in person to online dating.

"You leave a lot to the imagination for online dating. I'd rather come out, and you know, I'm not really looking for anything. I just want to have a good time and there are a lot of people out here that just want to have a good time, no strings attached," Homsey says.

The hotel draws a lot of patrons who've been coming here every Friday night for years.

They say what brings them back is the opportunity to let loose on the dance floor.

"Well, we're re-living the 80's. It's beautiful. We're just having a good time, you know?" says Evan Martin. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP