06/27/2013 -- Hundreds of seniors and not-so-senior citizens packed into the Albany James H. Gray Sr. Civic Center Friday night to relive their teen years and dance the night away.
Those who came alone to the red carpet themed event were not left without a dance partner or escort. For the past 10 years, Marines from Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany have participated in this annual event as a way to give back to the community and support a great cause.
Tee Taylor, program coordinator, Albany Recreation and Parks Department said Marines have volunteered their Friday nights for this event since its inception.
“I started this event ten years ago after talking to a member of one of my senior programs who was thrilled about helping her own granddaughter get ready for the prom,” she said. “My mother or the senior I was talking to never had the chance to attend their high school program, so this was about giving them a chance to relive those years in a safe environment.”
Cpl. James Etheridge, administrative specialist, Military Personnel Center, MCLB Albany, said the dance was a fun event to attend and he was glad he and his fellow Marines were able to be a part of their special evening.
“I learned a few new dance moves myself but still don’t think I’m as good of a dancer as some of them are,” he said. “A few of the older ladies kept us on the floor all night long.”
Taylor noted Marines always go above and beyond of duty by volunteering for this and other community events, especially those hosted by the Albany Recreation and Parks Department.
“Not only do they serve our country, but they make a difference and put smiles on the faces of many of these seniors, several of whom are widowed,” she said. “For many, it reminds them of their own son or daughter, even their spouse who may no longer be with them. It makes them feel good to have them (Marines) dance the night away and they look forward to them every year.”
For one Marine who just checked in one week ago, he felt it was his duty to give back to the community he has called home before.
“I am not just a Marine stationed aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, but I am a part of the local community as well,” Chief Warrant Officer 2 Montreal J. Newkirk, Marine Corps Community Services officer, MCCS, MCLB Albany, said. “This is why I volunteer wherever I am stationed and I had a great time.”