A swinging success

Phi Theta Kappa benefit for veterans raises over $3,000

By Kelly Respondek
Staff Writer

Over 300 attendees took the DiPonio room of the VisTaTech Center for a swinging good time to benefit the Disabled American Veterans. On Friday, Dec. 19, from 7 p.m. to midnight, Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) hosted a swing dance benefit for the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) called Swing into Service for Our Soldiers. Proceeds from the benefit went towards the DAV.

Image from dukeswing.wordpress.com.

Image from dukeswing.wordpress.com.

The theme was the 1940s swing dance era to honor the veterans of that time. Attendees dressed in vintage apparel, and most people followed the guidelines, wearing flashy, yet polished attire.

With just seven weeks to plan the event, PTK produced an amazing venue and great atmosphere. The Rhythm Society Orchestra provided live, big band music, which was perfect to swing to, while Swinginfusion, Swing Farmington and the Swing Set gave lessons for those unfamiliar with swing dancing.

The attendees ranged in age from high school students to senior citizens. Regardless of age, ability or experience in swing, almost everyone was out on the dance floor at some point.

Alexia Nelson and Alison Pardue, two local teenagers, heard about Swing into Service from a friend who attends Swing Farmington. They decided to go because they heard one of their favorite swing groups was hosting a dance. They said that they liked seeing the veterans enjoying themselves.

Michigan congressman Kerry Bentivolio and Senator Patrick Colbeck, representatives of districts 11 and seven respectively, made appearances at the event. Both gave short speeches, thanking the veterans for their service, while also reminding listeners of the great sacrifices these men and women have made.

Veterans, such as Tom Topolewski, who served in the Army in Germany from 1970 to 1972 during the Vietnam War, were also in attendance. He expressed what the Congressman and Senator said about the sacrifices that those who have served have made.

“I had a lot of good friends that I went to high school with never made it back, and then some of the guys that came back were never the same,” Topolewski said.

McKenzie Hayes, President of PTK, said the focus of the event was to raise awareness for the Disabled American Veterans and the usage of 3-D printing to help those veterans.

There were tables setup with information about the DAV and the advantages of 3-D printing with the ways that it could help veterans in the near future.

The night was a beautiful tribute to the men and women who have served the United States. To find out more about the DAV, go to http://www.dav.org/help-dav/.