Platte County 4H holds dinner and dance

Generations mix, mingle, and have a good time doing square dancing inside the Agriplex during Platte County 4H’s Dec. 18 community dinner and square dancing evening.

WHEATLAND – On December 18 at the Agriplex in the Platte County Fairgrounds, a community dinner, food drive, and square dancing was hosted by the Platte County 4H.

The dinner started around 6:30 p.m. The main course was served by 4H members, but guests were allowed to bring their own side dishes to the dinner.

4H’s participation with the dance started roughly seven years ago. The goal of the event is to serve the community.

“The 4H dance we do here with Jarvis Windom is to give back to the community,” said Angie Kernan, a 4H leader of 15 years.

According to Kernan, an average of 200 to 300 people have attend past dances. This usually equates to 12 to 14 dancing squares. The age range for participants is between infants to 80 and 90 years old.

“It’s for anybody in Platte County to come and enjoy themselves,” said Kernan. “Anybody is allowed to come. We have people come from California and all over to do this dance every year.”

As a 4H leader, Kernan is involved with the civil livestock and shooting sports branches of the organization. The purpose of the 4H is to teach children useful and lifelong skills.

“Our goal as 4H leaders is to give kids the ability to know how to do certain things in their lives so they have lifelong skills that they use the rest of their lives,” said Kernan.

“So we try and teach them lifelong skills so that they can become useful citizens and give back to the community.”

Along with being a dinner and a dance, the event was also a food donation drive.

“There’s no price to come, but if you’d like to donate we’d love you to donate in our community service,” said Kernan. “We’re gathering up food for the food bank and Food 4 Weekends with Mary Evans.”

The dance started about 7:00 p.m. while the dinner was winding down. To help teach and lead the dancers in their routines, Jarvis Windom called the dances.

An accountant by day, Windom has been calling square dancing for over 50 years. His passion for doing so started when he was younger.

“I sued to dance in college,” said Windom. “And I enjoyed it so much I decided to study it, and take classes, and buy equipment, and then start working with people.”

Windom uses old and new technology whenever he calls square dancing.

“We use MP.3 files heavily,” said Windom. “We also turn vinyl, and all the callers worldwide still do a lot of vinyl or 45 RPM records.”

Windom does not lead dancing only for 4H. He can call for many other kinds of events.

“I do call for a lot of other events, “said Windom. “I do weddings and birthdays and pub dances and specialty dances, but I’m known for my specialty dances the most.”

Windom says that seeing people happy and families and communities brought together is the enjoyment of calling dancing.

“The biggest thrill for me is watching everybody smile, young and old,” said Windom. “Also, I just love the families and when they get together as families it means a lot to me.”


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