High school dance at Pickering Barn will benefit food bank

June 9, 2009

By Jim Feehan

Area high school students can contribute to a good cause while they dance the night away June 18. The dance, for sophomores, juniors and seniors only, is from 6-11 p.m. at Pickering Barn, 1730 10th Ave NW.Maddie Watts, 16, a sophomore at Issaquah High School, was kicking around the idea with her friends of holding a dance following the last day of school for students in the Issaquah School District. Her father, Keith Watts, suggested the dance raise money for a charitable cause, she said.

The Issaquah Food Bank was selected as the fundraising recipient. Maddie Watts and friends Rachel McAllister, Amy Allyn, Pierce Landis and Elliot Springer, former classmates at Pacific Cascade Freshman Campus, then had to decide where to hold the dance.

“The community center cost too much and the (Hailstone) Feed Store was too small,” Maddie Watts said. “So, we thought of Pickering Barn. It’s a big landmark that’s easy to find next to Costco.”

Admission is $5 with the donation of a nonperishable food item; $7 without. Amante is providing free pizza, soft drinks and salad. Teens will dance to recorded techno/club music at the event, dubbed Neon Nights Dance Under the Summer Sun.

“We wanted something that was easy to dance to that’s not necessarily older stuff you hear on the radio,” Maddie Watts said. About 15 adults will supervise the event, she said.

While the event is being held in Issaquah, it is open to all high school students from the 10th grade on, she said.

“We’ve already heard from students from Mercer Island, Sammamish and Mount Si high schools who plan to attend,” she said. “We’re hoping to have 300 kids there, so we should raise quite a bit for the food bank.”

Kim Ortego, assistant to the executive director of the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank, said the fundraiser comes at a crucial time for the food bank.

“We’re seeing more and more families at the food bank, and during the summer, kids won’t be receiving free or reduced (-price) lunches at school,” Ortego said. “This dance will help us a lot.”

Reach Reporter Jim Feehan at 392-6434, ext. 239, or jfeehan@isspress.com. Comment on this story at www.issaquahpress.com.

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