Dancing through the decades: Dressed to impress at the food pantry dance

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A group of 1950s greasers mingling through a crowd punctuated by flashes of 1980s neon, beaded hemlines straight from the 1920s,  1990s flannels, 1960s bellbottoms, and suede headbands from the 1970s.

Plainville’s finest donned their finest at the Aqua Turf in Plantsville last Saturday for the 24th annual Plainville Community Food Pantry dance. This year the party encouraged attendees to “dance through the decades,” and the community did not disappoint.

“I always say that there’s nothing plain about Plainville,” said Suzie Woerz, executive director of the Plainville Community Food Pantry.

Two of the event organizers, Doreen Corriveau and Peggy Marut, dressed as the Pink Ladies from the popular 1960s-themed movie “Grease.” As attendees trickled in, walking between life size Rubik’s Cubes and beneath a light up archway, Corriveau said that she hoped everyone would have an awesome time, and to come back again next year.

“Everybody knows everybody,” said Marut, “and we just bring more people in, and we get more friends and become better friends with each other. It’s just a great feeling.”

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From every corner of the room you could spot smartly dressed town officials, such as superintendent of schools, Steven LePage with his wife, Denise. The couple proudly represented the 1920s. Town council chairperson Katherine Pugliese and her husband, Robert, donned styles reminiscent of the 1970s and the 1950s, respectively.

“We’ve been coming since the first one, and it’s for the best cause ever—the food pantry,” said the council chair. “We love coming here. We have fun, they do a great job, they decorate, they have great prizes, and it’s fun to dress up once in a while, to pretend you’re something else.”

The ‘Pink Ladies,’ featuring event coordinators Doreen Corriveau, far left, and Peggy Marut, second from the right. (Photo by Janelle Morelli)

In addition to the great music and photo booth that kept guests entertained, all of the guests had the opportunity to place their bets on an extensive array of raffle baskets that ranged in value from $100 to $200. Guests were also asked to take part in the game that has become a staple at the food pantry dance—heads or tails.

Each year the game is modified to reflect the theme, and in honor of “dancing through the decades,” attendees were given the opportunity to purchase a vinyl record which served as their marker. After the DJ tossed the coin and called heads or tails, the winners were kept in until there was one person left on the dance floor, all in the hopes of winning this year’s grand prize; a Vizio 40-inch television.

All of the funds that are raised during the event will be used to purchase items to aid the food pantry’s clientele. According to Woerz that includes an emphasis on holiday baskets and camp scholarships.

The pantry’s holiday baskets are distributed during Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, and include all of the necessary items to prepare a holiday meal including a turkey or chicken, fresh fruit and vegetables, and a week’s worth of groceries.

“The community always helps out, and they always step up to the plate to help us,” said Woerz. “This just proves what a great community we have, that everybody is out here to support us. We appreciate everything that people do.”

To learn more about the Plainville Food Pantry or to make a donation, visit plainvillefoodpantry.org or call (860) 747-1917. The food pantry is located at 54 S. Canal St. in Plainville.

To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Taylor Murchison-Gallagher, email her at News@PlainvilleObserver.com.