QUINCY -- When the Crossing 929 volunteered to host a dance at Berrian Elementary School last year for the students and their loved ones, the event went over so well they decided to follow it up again this year.
With boundaries being redrawn for Quincy Public Schools' five new elementary schools, this year's dance could be the last. The school will be open next year, but only kindergarten and first-grade students will attend. Berrian will close the next year.
"Berrian has been the school that we partner with since we moved down here," said Monte Heemeyer, the Crossing 929 student minister. "We've gotten to know the families and the teachers, and we just want to give them a special night."
More than 70 volunteers turned out for last year's superhero-themed dance.
"When you see the kids and parents coming in together and people cheering for them, you know it's something special," Heemeyer said. "I think people were surprised by how much fun they had."?Like last year's event, this year's will have a superhero theme. A dinner will be served before the dance begins. Once the festivities commence, the school will be separated into two sections. One section will feature dancing, and the other will be a superhero training area that last year included face painting and a brief lesson in martial arts. Students and their loved ones will spend some time in one area before switching to the other.
Heemeyer said events like these are important because they bring families closer together.
"They learn a little more about each other, and it builds trust," he said. "It's time for them to be together and just enjoy each other."
The dance will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday. People who attend are encouraged to dress somewhat formally.
Although the event is a form of outreach for the church, it is not a religious event. The push is part of an overall effort to build trust in the neighborhood for the church and to form relationships with people who live there.
"I think we're showing we're a part of the community," Heemeyer said, "that we want to be helpful and that we care."