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Dance honors American armed forces and veterans

By: Kathy Maynard, Loomis News Correspondent
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A Loomis woman has found a way to honor and raise funds for military members and veterans, while creating a fun event for locals. The Fourth Annual Red, White and Blue Spooktacular Dance will be held from 7 to 10 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 13, at the Blue Goose Event Center. Proceeds benefit the Wounded Warrior Project and Courage For The Journey military and veterans services offered through the Gold Country Chaplaincy. The dance will feature live blues, 1950s and 1960s music by Diamond Bob and the Alley Sneakers. Prizes will be awarded for winners of the Halloween costume and twist contests. Sheila Lee, co-owner of Camelot Costumes and a Loomis resident for 35 years, started the dance in 2009 as a way to thank members of the military and veterans. “I’m a woman in business and in a lot of countries you cannot be in business if you’re a woman. I felt so grateful that somebody would stand up for us to have all the liberties we have and that’s why I started it,” Lee said. This year 30 different individuals, groups and businesses have contributed something to this event. Raffle prizes will include two weekend getaways in Lake Tahoe, tickets to the Sacramento Zoo, an assortment of men’s watches from Carté Jewelers, a raft trip from Black Bear Outdoors, a $40 certificate from Top Notch Pet Grooming and tickets to the Music Circus. Pizza Factory pizza will be available for purchase as well as wine, beer and spirits from Loomis Basin Soroptimists. The first three dances raised nearly $5,000, and Lee expects participation and proceeds to keep increasing. “The first year it was a street dance, but people snuck in without paying and it hurt my feelings so bad that they’d try to get something over on the veterans that we moved it inside,” Lee said. In 2010, the dance honored the 442nd Regimental Combat Team of Japanese Americans who fought during World War II. Last year, Pearl Harbor survivors were recognized and several attended the dance. This year, the dance will highlight women in the military. Women military members and veterans will have a chance to share their stories and a display will show far women have come. “Women first started participating during the Revolutionary War, either as spies or they had to dress like men because they were not allowed to be in the military. During the Civil War, Clara Barton started the Red Cross and women got a little more involved as nurses or relief workers. Their success on the battle fields started to change women’s roles in society, and paid positions were created for them post-war,” Lee said. A Wall of Honor, for which Lee asks the community to lend her photos of themselves or relatives, will show both men and women who have served in the military. “That’s really special when you see the differences in uniforms and pictures, it’s really exciting to see,” she said. Lee encourages people of all ages to attend and parents are encouraged to bring their children. “This year the Interact Club from Del Oro has volunteered to help us during the event and clean up. What’s good about having multiple ages is that the kids get to meet and hear stories from these military people who have done all these courageous things,” she said. Tickets for the dance are $15 each or $25 per couple. Active military members will be admitted for free. Tickets are available at Camelot Costumes, Curves or at the door. For more information, call 652-8441. Fourth Annual Red, White and Blue Spooktacular Dance What: Dance with live band honoring armed forces and veterans, benefiting Wounded Warrior Project and the Gold Country Chaplaincy Courage For The Journey services When: 7 to 10 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 13 Where: Blue Goose Event Center, 3550 Taylor Road Tickets: $15 each or $25 per couple, free for active military; available at Camelot Costumes, Curves or at the door. Information: 652-8441, www.woundedwarriorproject.org or www.goldcountrychaplaincy.com