Valentine’s dance a smash

FEBRUARY 14, 2013
by Jenn Summers ’13, Contributing Writer

Balloon arches, smiling faces, dancing and music were the highlights of this year’s annual Valentine’s Day dance for about 200 exceptional adults and 200 registered Furman student volunteers last evening at the Younts Center.

The event, staged by the Heller Service Corps, is a community dance where adult individuals with special needs come to celebrate and dance with Furman student volunteers. Student director of the Heller Service Corps, senior Thomas Hydrick said “It’s a great way for Furman to get involved in the Greenville community.”

The annual dance was first started in the ’90s when the organization used the name Collegiate Education Service Corps. Only a handful of exceptional adults came to the first dance, originally held in the Watkins Room. Today, however, the dance has expanded with each passing year so that Nancy Cooper, director of the Corps, marvels at the 200-person long guest list for 2013.  Long-time attendees of the dances from the exceptional adults look forward to Valentine’s Day each year.

“It’s an amazing evening. I think it’s the best thing we do all year,” Cooper said.

This year’s event was another success and is expected to only boost interest. Next year, there is the possibility moving to Timmons Arena to accommodate the participants and volunteers.