EVESHAM >> A special and unique event in one of the Lenape Regional High School District schools hits a milestone this year.

The Senior Citizen Valentine’s Ball, hosted the Cherokee High School Student Council, turns 20 and it is an event that everyone seems to love.

This year’s ball is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 9, from 2 to 5 p.m., in Cherokee’s South Cafeteria.

According to event co-organizer and Cherokee social studies teacher Thomas Kelhower, nearly 50 students are involved in some capacity with the dance.

“Twenty student volunteers help by preparing desserts,” said Kelhower, who, along with Pam Epifano, has been involved with the dance since 2016. “Ten students help to set up for the event.

“For the first 15 years, a handful (about 5) of students helped to make the food for the event and another 15 would work as servers and hosts. We now get the event catered so there's typically 20 students serving and hosting. We also have two or three students run the photo booth.”

Georgetti's in Cinnaminson will cater this year’s event.

“His baked ziti and meatballs are delicious,” said Kelhower. “We also put together a caesar salad for the event and Cherokee students bake the desserts.”

Kelhower said the dance has always been well attended.

“There are approximately 125 guests each year,” he said. “No cutoff yet, but I'm not sure we could accommodate more than 200 guests.”

Kelhower loves to see the interaction between the students and dance guests.

“Everyone's favorite part about the dance comes after the dinner,” said Kelhower. “Guests and student volunteers get on the dance floor and spend the last hour or so dancing and mingling with one another. The DJ makes it a point to play oldies, but will throw in some modern dance music too. It's rewarding to see the faces of the guests and the reactions from the Cherokee students. The kids are great and genuinely love the opportunity they get to hang out with members of the community.”

The dance offers a lasting experience for everyone involved.

“As fun as it is for members of the Marlton community, the kids really enjoy the dance and consider the event one of the most meaningful experiences of the year.”

Kelhower added: “There is another element of the event worth mentioning. It's only happened a handful of times. We've maybe gotten three or four over the course of the last five years. But occasionally someone will send a hand written thank you card to student council after the event. It's a first for the kids and they love reading what the guests have to say.”

Also helping with hosting the event are Cherokee Student Council co-advisors Chelsea Latini, Andrew Montgomery and Rob Fortunato, Kelhower said.

Any senior citizen from Evesham Township interested in attending this free event can contact Tom Kelhower via email at tkelhower@lrhsd.org or calling 609-268-2000, ext. 8927 with any questions.

Tickets can be picked up in Cherokee’s North Main Office until Feb. 3.

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