CDS party always brings smiles

CDS party always brings smiles
CDS party always brings smiles | CDS Christmas party, Patsy Tibbs

Billy Ray Scott and Patsy Tibbs are always the life of the party with their infectious smiles. Their favorite part of the CDS Christmas party is getting to see Santa Claus.
Warning: A person expecting to enter a certain annual Christmas event not planning to crack even the smallest of smiles will be proven wrong very quickly.
The Christmas spirit at the Community Developmental Services’ (CDS) party is much too infectious to be ignored or escaped and, as many people will attest, it carries the power to melt the hardest of hearts and send the strongest doubter into fits of merriment.
As CDS clients lined up to bust a move on the dance floor Thursday afternoon, the deejay for the party, Bill McCutcheon, said the CDS event always gets his Christmas jumpstarted and always serves to put him in the right frame of mind when the right frame of mind can be difficult to attain.
This year, the Dresden Senior Citizens Center served as the party headquarters and the room was literally crammed full of CDS clients and staff members looking forward to dancing, games, food, presents and, most of all, a visit from Santa.
Christy Riley, decked out in a headband with bouncing reindeer, doesn’t hesitate to show her skills in dancing and brings along her friend, Butch Stricklin, of the Dresden Senior Citizen’s Center. Nearby, Lindsey Adams, a college student majoring in special education, takes Max Overton as a dance partner.
“I just really love seeing all of them have fun,” Ruth Ann Grow, a CDS staff member for 22 years, said.
Over in another corner, Joyce Franks is bound to a wheelchair, but is attempting to move to the music.
“I love getting to see the clients enjoy themselves,” Sharon McMullen said. “Joyce is not very mobile, but for an event like this, she mobilizes herself.”
“My favorite part of the party is the dancing,” staff member Mary Kay said.
Belinda Edwards and William Hagler are slow dancing in one corner of the room while Brian Dollar, sporting a new Christmas tie, dances by himself in another corner as does Luwan Spivey.
Mary Weatherly displays an enormous amount of energy and emotion in her dancing and, before long, a conga line has formed headed by Clorissa Wyatt and followed by Lynn Jones, Phyllis Allen and Wendy Brinkley.
A few of the clients who are not dancing are sitting around the dance floor at tables waiting for Santa to arrive and they’re not shy about sharing what they’d like him to bring them.
Patsy Tibbs, who recently underwent surgery, sits at a table with Sherry Harris. Tibbs still must wear a drainage bag and can’t get up and dance, but she admitted she hopes Santa brings her clothes for Christmas.
“I want an Xbox 360 with games and DVDs and a place to put the games and DVDs,” John Hobbs said.
“I’d like a four-door car,” Dollar remarked.
As the dancing continues and more people join in, Andi Lindley, a newcomer to CDS who has only been with the group for about four months, is swept around the room by Dollar and other clients and is introduced to several people in a whirlwind fashion.
This is her first Christmas party and she seems to be dazzled with all the spirit and magic contained in the crammed room.
“I really like the people. I love hanging out with them,” she said. “I love getting to know them and being able to spend quality time with them.”
Before long, other music is added in and in addition to the Christmas music, popular country and pop songs are thrown into the mix.
As the notes of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” begin to fill the room, not a straight face can be noticed anywhere.
Not surprising for an event that, for one day a year, manages to be one of the merriest parties in the area.

WCP 12.20.11

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