The Docey Dandies Square Dance Club celebrated its 59th anniversary in May with a dance on May 16.
More than 90 past and present club members and their families and guests attended the event as did guests from other square dance clubs.
In recognition of the event, the Gardner club gave awards to some of its past and present members. Jim and Norma Kindcaide, charter members of the organization, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the dancing club. Doug Finnicum presented the award to their daughter Linda (Kincaide) Rothwell and her husband Eldon Rothwell accepted the posthumous award on the Kincaide’s behalf.
Past President Donna Valizan presented another Lifetime Achievement Award to Deloyn and Marilyn Huffman. The duo began taking dancing lessons with the club in September 1979 and formally joined the group in December 1979. They held many offices and served as Presidents from 2006-2007. Their daughter, Peggy Rodriquez, attended the presentation.
Past President Charlie Valizan presented a third Lifetime Achievement Award to Bob and Donna Knoche. The pair became members of the organizations in 1971 and are still members today. The duo still enjoys dancing with their son Marvin and his wife, Diane Knoche; their daughter Jane Knoche and two grand daughters Katherine and Kristine Thomson, all of whom are current members.
The organization also recognized its founding members – Will and Helen Gay.
“They were instrumental in saving the club from folding,” Charlie Valizan said.
The Gays’ son Bill Gay and his wife Patty Gay, both past presidents, also attended the celebration event.
Two former Docey Dandies Square Dance Club Callers were in attendance.
Jim Booton called from 1970 to 1973. Jim Ellis called from 1970 to 1996, at which time he retired from calling.
Mike Salerno has called from 1996 and is the current club caller.
“There was just so much joy among everyone to see old and new friends, and the reminiscing over memories, picture albums, a slide show and a video,” Charlie Valizan said.
In addition to sharing memories, members showed off popular square dancing fashions through the decades with a fashion show. Mindy Davidson modeled the 1950s’ attire. Viola Patterson showed off the 1960s fashions, Evelyn Bowser modeled clothes from the 1970s, Lynda Heatherington showed off 1980s’ styles, Carol Richey donned apparel from the 1990s and Leslie Arndt modeled fashions from 2000s.
“Everyone had a great time,” Donna Valizan said. “It was just a wonderful experience.”
The club will host a free intro to square dancing class from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sept. 8 at the Grange Hall on the Johnson County Fairgrounds. For more information, call (913)732-0321.