And the dance goes on

Baldwin students host their own celebration

BALDWIN — Decorative lights glistened in the dimmed hall, and colorful balloons and streamers added a festive touch, as high school students danced the evening away on Saturday, Oct. 16 at Duane E. Dewey AMVETS Post No. 1988.

Two students, Autumn Heighton and Abigail Oisten, both juniors, took it upon themselves to have a high school dance, as they haven't had one at Baldwin Community Schools since the COVID pandemic began.

"When the school told us we couldn't have a dance, I was like, we're going to have one," Heighton said, wanting some of the normal highlights of the high school experience. "Even though district numbers of COVID cases are low, we decided to require masks for the dance."

Oisten said there has been no dances since her freshman year.

"We were able to get donations from the community and a lot of support," Oisten said. "The community definitely wanted us to have this night."

The students were looking for venues to have the dance, and were very grateful when AMVETS Post NO. 1988 not only allowed the dance to be hosted there, but also donated use of the building for the occasion, Oisten added.

Marlene Gaitan, post commander for AMVETS Post. No. 1988, was happy they were able to accomodate the youth.

"It is important to be there and reach out to young people and connect with them — they may be our future veterans. We are here for all veterans, even those who have not been born yet," Gaitan said. "Who knows, one could be a medal of honor recipient some day. So far, this has been a great night."