War-era dance helps ETTC patients Feb. 25

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East Texas Treatment Center is hoping a crowd of ‘Doughboys & Dames’ will fill the National Guard Armory Feb. 25 to help put men and women throughout the area back on the job.

Proceeds from the facility’s annual dance fundraiser benefit the center’s sponsorship fund, offsetting rehabilitation costs for people in need.

“For people that do not have private pay insurance or Medicare or Medicaid, we want them to be able to have physical therapy or occupational therapy,” ETTC Executive Director Lauren Cammack said, “so we can get them back in the workforce as quickly as possible.”

This year’s dance has an Armed Forces theme, and the organizers hope attendees will draw inspiration from World War I and World War II fashions for costumes at the Saturday evening event.

“We do want them to dress according to the era. That would be great,” ETTC Marketing Director Amber Kinsey said. Granted, “They don’t have to, but it’s more fun when you play off the theme.”

Women could taken inspiration from Rosie the Riveter, she added, or the Andrews Sisters. Men could pick uniforms from any of the branches of the military. Uncle Sam could make an appearance. There’s any number of options, if guests are so-inclined.

“Anything like that would be fun,” Kinsey concluded.

The night’s entertainment will be more modern, with the Tyler-based performers of The Elegant Few providing the evening’s contemporary soundtrack in the 1807 Stone Road armory.

“They’re a dance band,” Kinsey said, and come highly-recommended for a party atmosphere.

Spearheading the center’s planning, Cammack and Kinsey are making the rounds this week pulling things together and collecting items for the year’s silent auction.

“Everything’s coming in this week and last week,” Kinsey said, and a wide variety of merchandise will await bidders. “We’ll still accept anything up to the day of the dance.”

While the organizers welcome sponsors for the event – almost 25 tables have been sold so far – individual tickets are available as well at $50, limited to ages 21-and-older. At the moment, ETTC’s crew expects between 200 and 250 guests for the dinner, dance and silent auction, all proceeds going to the center’s cause.

“The economy is down,” Kinsey said, and some of those people whose injuries have sidelined them off the timeclock need an assist with their treatment. “It helps out patient that can’t afford therapy, to get them back to their jobs, to get them back functioning.”

It will be Cammack’s first dance fundraiser with ETTC after taking the reins at the facility last fall.

She’s looking forward to it, “Just being out in the Kilgore community, meeting more people, seeing the community come together to support the center.”

To purchase a ticket, sponsor a table or donate an auction item, contact Kinsey at East Texas Treatment Center at 903-984-5571.

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