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St. Dominic friends’ lives connect from kindergarten to prom

From left, Patrick O'Brien, 17, Dominique Ehlinger, 18,

From left, Patrick O'Brien, 17, Dominique Ehlinger, 18, RJ Viscovich, 17, Sarah Minicozzi, 17, Stephen Ferrandino, 18, and Julia LoRusso, 17, celebrate St. Dominic High School's prom at the Crescent Beach Club in Bayville on Tuesday, June 3, 2014. Credit: Brittany Wait

Julia LoRusso and five of her friends posed for a picture as the sun set behind them at Crescent Beach Club in Bayville Tuesday night.

It was fitting for the six, the only members of the St. Dominic High School Class of 2014 to spend their entire school lives together, from kindergarten all the way to Tuesday’s prom.

“We’ve been taking pictures together since kindergarten graduation, so we’ll just add this one to the pile,” said LoRusso, 17, of Oyster Bay. “It means so much to me that I can share this night with them. And it’s a great way to end out a memorable senior year together.”

LoRusso shares this special kinship with Patrick O'Brien, 17; Dominique Ehlinger, 18; RJ Viscovich, 17; Sarah Minicozzi, 17; and Stephen Ferrandino, 18. In O’Brien’s case, the bond played a big role in his prom plans.

“We’re just as close as we’ve always been,” said O’Brien, of Oyster Bay. “I’m going to prom solo. I could’ve asked a girl out, but I really just wanted to dance with my friends.”

Erin Royce, director of guidance at St. Dominic High School, said she has watched the students grow up and has even babysat for O’Brien and coached LoRusso in basketball.

“It’s hard to believe that they’re getting ready to graduate soon and they’ll be becoming adults,” said Royce, 34, of Manhasset and 1998 graduate of St. Dominic. “I’ll be reading their names at graduation and I’m sure I’ll cry, but of course, we are just so proud of them.”

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