For about an hour and a half on Saturday afternoon, the sounds of upbeat tunes could be heard at Pinecrest as around 70 residents gathered for the annual Valentine's Day Ball.
The event is held each year by St. Marys Area High School and Elk County Catholic High School students in the Confirmation classes at Queen of the World Parish, Sacred Heart Parish, and St. Mary's Parish. This year 20 students participated in the event, according to Kathy Reuscher, confirmation facilitator.
"This year was a little less than last year, because we had 40-plus students last year, but I was grateful for the ones that were here," Reuscher said. "Some of them actually work here, which made it really nice."
While the event followed the same format as in previous years, Reuscher noted that one main difference was that one of the Confirmation students provided the entertainment, something which had not previously been done.
"One of our young students, Matthew Wickett, does DJing, and he provided our entertainment this year," Reuscher said.
Wickett, who works for RRHP Audio and has been DJing since he was 13 years old, remarked that he enjoyed the opportunity.
"They offered the opportunity for kids to come out and meet all the residents, and I thought, 'What a great way to use my talent,' so I decided to DJ," Wickett said.
In addition to an afternoon of music, fun, and dancing, cookies and punch were also served to attendees.
Prior to the conclusion of the event, a king, queen, prince, and princess were crowned. This year's king was John Steinback and the queen was Nadine Landis. The prince was Richard Simchick and the princess was Yvonne Oertly.
The students who assisted with the event remarked that they felt the residents once again had a good time.
"It was really nice," said Sophie Herzing. "The people really enjoyed it, so it was fun to see them and visit with them."
Kristin Dippold added that she decided to help out because of how happy it makes the residents.
"A lot of the residents are lonely, so it's nice to come and help," Dippold said. "I think they really liked it because they were all smiling and having a really good time. It was a good feeling."
Confirmation candidate Rebecca Glatt noted that her mother works at Pinecrest and encouraged her to help with the Valentine's Day Ball.
"She was like, 'You better be there, you know they really like it,'" Glatt said. "I knew a lot of people, and I know a lot of people don't get visitors, so it's good to see them smiling and happy."
Pick up a copy of the Monday, Feb. 13, 2012 edition of The Ridgway Record for more.