Participants in a winter formal ball for people with disabilities take to the floor at KC Hall in Washington. (Kalen McCain/La Union)

WASHINGTON — The KC Hall in Washington hosted a locally organized dance for people with disabilities on Friday night. Co-organizers Dawn Garcia and Diane Harden said they were not affiliated with local disability organizations, but wanted to plan a new event for the community.

Garcia said she was pleased with the turnout and the theme as the participants prepared to dance after dinner.

“We had 106 chairs and I think they are all full,” he said. “We thought, it was winter, why not get people dressed up and excited to go out? A lot of people don’t dress up anymore, so why not?

With the popularity of the dance, Garcia said the duo hoped to continue hosting annual dances for years to come, probably with new themes each time.

“People were good at donating and we have a lot of people here,” he said. “We think we will probably do it every year. It’s not a winter ball, but maybe a ball…possibly, it’s still something new.”

Harden said the event was made possible by the support of the community. Much of the preparation involved asking around town for donations.

“The only problem we had was that we’re not an organization, we’re just doing this out of the goodness of our hearts…so it was a little more difficult to collect donations and things like that,” he said. “But because we know, and Dawn especially knows, so many people, the donations just poured in.”

Still, Harden said the two planned to keep their event organized on their own, without input from other groups.

“We just did it because we love these people, we’ve worked with them for years, and we decided this is something they would really enjoy,” he said. “And we can see from the turnout, we’ve seen that they really appreciated it.”

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