Monday, March 01, 2010

no diagnosis on the dance floor

A teenager rolls across the dance floor. Red/orange neon lighting glowing from under her ‘pimped-out’ electric wheelchair, rapping along with the music:

“I'm so 3008
You so 2000 and late
I got that boom, boom, boom”

Her smile transcends the disco lighting and bass beat thumping. Her laugh illuminates the seen and unseen.

Somewhere in its origin this particular special needs Valentine’s lunch and dance party was about providing an option for students unlikely to be involved in traditional dances at high schools. Now with attendance grown to 600, this ‘Valentine’s Day’ lunch party is NO alternative. This is the real deal!

No painting exists without the strokes it took to create it. It takes an unwavering commitment of one Elks Lodge to annually host this lunch party including growing needs for space, preparing lunch and supplying refreshments. It takes the school system which finds a way to keep the transportation support in the budget. It takes a single grocery store manager who in turn twists arms to supply donations of ‘all beef’ hot dogs. It takes the support of the county Special Olympics. It takes the special education staff to accompany and assist many of the students. It takes a snack food vendor who donates bags of chips. It takes a ‘designer’ ice cream sales rep who donates individual serving size containers. It takes a private high school that buses over able-bodied volunteers to serve the food, clean up, and assist.
The DJ and dancers are one collective body now. Cue … play ... bodies move, arms wave … voices shout in celebration …

“Easy come, easy go, now we on top
(Top top top top top)
Feel the shot, body rock, rock it, don't stop"

One Elks Lodge has been doing this in one incarnation or another since 1963, long before anything was politically correct.

There’s no 'diagnosis' on the dance floor ... just the smiles of young people having fun.

Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer
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  1. What a wonderful story which in addition was told so creatively. Thank you for bringing a smile to my face so early in the morning.

  2. that is awesome!!! and imagine since 1963 they were doing this! thank you for bringing it to our attention, Patrick, because I never have heard of this before (and yet those unsung heroes put it on year after year after year after year for the kids, not caring about the praises of men, awesome!)



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