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Highlands holds family friendly Cupid’s Ball

Posted: February 22, 2010 10:49 p.m.
Updated: February 23, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Brooke Hougo, front, is spun by second grade classmates Kaela Berretta, left, Lucy O'Brien and Hailey Bertran, right, as they dance at the Cupid's Ball.

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Hundreds of children and families descended on Highlands Elementary for the school’s first Cupid’s Ball on Feb. 11.

The Parent-Faculty Organization-sponsored event was done in hopes that pro-family gatherings will become synonymous with Highlands Elementary, said organization co-president April Sanders.

“We do some amazing stuff,” Sanders said. “We’re trying to put Highlands back on the map in the community.”

A total of 397 students and family members danced and socialized in the school’s multipurpose room. More than 400 tickets were sold.

“We set the limit at 350,” Sanders said. “We did finally have to cut it off.”

Schae Hill, a Highlands fifth-grader, said she was excited about partaking in her first school dance. Hill looked forward to “dancing with my friends” and “hanging out.”

Schae’s parents, Julie and John Hill, said that the dance’s benefits would extend beyond the children’s elementary years.

“I think it brings the community together to strengthen and grow,” John Hill said. “As the children grow into their older school years, it will absolutely take them in the direction that most parents want them to go.”

Fifth-grader Natalie Slater called the event fun. She looked forward to “talking with her friends.”

Sanders hoped that the Cupid’s Ball would allow parents to meet each other and reinforce ties.

“We’re a community,” Sanders said. “And we’re families that all want to get to know each other outside of the regular school day.”

Highlands Principal Paul Martinsen noted that the dance was a way of giving back to the students.

“The goal would be to have a good time, enjoy the company of their parents, enjoy the company of their friends and come out with a positive experience,” Martinsen said. “Family unity, family bonding is vital and important.”

The Highlands parent and faculty organization is responsible for several fundraising and social events, including carnivals and Young Author days.

However, Sanders was quick to point out that the Cupid’s Ball was not an effort to raise money.

“So many parents work and they’re coming and going,” she said. “This is an opportunity for everyone to get together and enjoy having a night out.”

The event was a hit with all who attended and many parents had to cajole their children off the floor when it was time to leave, Sanders said.

“I feel it went above and beyond. The families proved that they do want to be a community,” she said. “It was very successful to opening Highlands to be a family community.”

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