The Special Needs Valentine's. Commonly know as "The Best Day of the Year." At least that's what the guests and volunteers tell us. The 23rd annual Valentine's Dance was held last Saturday in Cushing. The Meelia Center sponsors the dance and invites people with special needs (all ages) from the Manchester community, and then tons of volunteers from clubs and organizations throughout campus join together to help make the event run smoothly. And let me tell you, it runs more than smoothly! With over 150 guests, nearly 200 volunteers, hundreds of paper hearts, piles of cookies and cupcakes, and endless popcorn and music, everyone walks away full, enthused, and happy.
While working at the snack table last Saturday, a young man named Mike came up to me. "Can I tell you something?" he whispered discretely, "Of course!" I replied. "Well I love this dance. It is my favorite day of the whole year. Thank goodness I didn't have work today. But guess what? Even if I did, I would tell them I needed the day off. Because nothing is worth skipping the Valentine's Dance for!" Smiling, Mike walked away from the table. His comment also put a smile on my face. Even when you can guess that everyone is having a good time, it is always nice to hear words of confirmation like that.
Forget the people who moan and groan about Valentine's Day. You don't need a boyfriend or girlfriend to have fun on February 14th. The Special Needs Valentine's Day Dance allows everyone to have multiple Valentines, all ranging in age and gender. So next year, if you're looking for fun, chocolate, music and a special-someone…make your way over to the Cushing Center for the 24th Valentine's Day Dance.