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Alumni, others dance night away

February 11, 2006|By MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN -

Ned Martin had a cane when he arrived at the Valentine Dance at Hagerstown Community College Friday night, but once the music started, he was on the dance floor and "In The Mood" - the cane stayed at his chair.

"My wife, Waunita, and I were at this dance last year and we had a great time," said the 93-year-old resident of Ravenwood Lutheran Village.

The dinner/dance was the second annual holiday event, co-sponsored by the HCC Alumni and Student Government associations. The event in the College Center has attracted more than 100 people each year, with ages ranging from toddlers to seniors like the Martins.

"We had 125 seats available this year and they are all filled," said Lisa Stewart, HCC alumni coordinator. Some of those who attended were from both Ravenwood and Robinwood assisted-living homes.

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Kim Nally and her husband, Tony, attended the dance for the first time this year and were having a great time.

"We are really enjoying this," Kim Nally said as they showed off their dance class moves.

Both of the Nallys are active members of the alumni association, having graduated from the college in the early 1980s.

"Our alumni association is quite active," said Wayne Taylor, a member of the class of 1959 and current president of the organization. Taylor attended the college when it was on the campus of South Hagerstown High School.

The group sponsors social events and several concerts during the year, all designed for all ages.

Shirl Grattan, class of 1995, was hoping to get out on the dance floor at least once Friday night.

"Last year, I practically had to put a gun to my husband's head, but this year, Jim couldn't wait to come," she said.

As chairwoman of the alumni association's Flower and Garden Show, Grattan said her talents are more along the line of "playing in the dirt."

The blending of the generations at Friday night's dance appealed to Lexi Shingleton, student government president.

"I think it's great that many age groups are coming together here," she said.

Alumni President-elect Gerry McCarney wasn't doing much dancing, but he was enjoying the event nonetheless.

"I'll be busy this year as we approach the 60th anniversary of the college," he said.

One of the first couples to hit the dance floor were Chris Graser and Samantha Catir.

"We've been dating two years and we came last year to the dance," Catir said. "It's great."

As the slow tunes started coming again, Ned Martin was back out on the dance floor with his wife of 67 years. On breaks, he would greet the young students and even kissed a few of the girls.

"I didn't use to let him kiss the girls, but I do now," Waunita said.

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