Dancing shoes: Community supports EPEC with Fourth Annual Sock Hop Benefit Dance and Charity Auction
SHEPHERDSTOWN – The Fourth Annual Sock Hop Benefit Dance and Charity Auction was held at the Town Run Tap House and Community Pub on Friday evening.
The event, with admission by donation, featured an evening of music and dancing, to raise money for the Eastern Panhandle Empowerment Center, which is also known as the Shenandoah Women’s Center.
The evening began, in its first hour, with swing dancing lessons taught by Swing Sing Scene. The New Rocketeers performed live music throughout the evening, alternating with local disk jockey Rick Rohn, as dancers filled the floor, taking breaks to munch on food, sip beverages and bid on silent auction items. The event proceeds were put towards EPEC’s safe night program, with every $100 ensuring one safe night for a victim of domestic violence or human trafficking.
“We operate the domestic violence and human trafficking center in the Eastern Panhandle. The shelter only has 15 beds, and it’s always full – we have 32 people on a wait list for beds,” said EPEC Director Katie Spriggs. “We really strongly believe you can’t love all problems with money, but this event is certainly one that helps. What the money from this does, is give us money to put people up in a hotel for a couple of nights.
“Last year, we raised $5,400,” Spriggs said, mentioning the amount was the most raised in the event’s four years. “This year, I don’t think we’re going to get there – it depends on the year and the crowd.”
According to event organizer Rita Nieman, the community support at the event did not disappoint.
“The turnout is fantastic – we have a nice mix of people,” Nieman said, mentioning both community members and Shepherd University students helped with the event set up. “We have a lot of student participation – some of the sororities and fraternities helped with the decorations.”
New Shepherdstown community member and painter Annette Gloomis helped out with the event, by donating some of her paintings to the silent auction.
“I actually donated six of these paintings,” Gloomis said, mentioning she was enjoying the event. “It’s fun! It’s very important wherever I am, that I support the community.”
For Caleb Smith, of Charles Town, attending the event gave him an opportunity to support one of his friends, who was performing in the New Rocketeers. According to Smith, the group is composed of Covenant Church members who only play together for this one event every year.
“The players all work well together – their chemistry is really there and it’s a great sound,” Smith said.