The Rubenstein Center and its Cadets hosted their annual Christmas dinner and program recently.
Employees, Cadets, their family members, and members of the community at large made up an attendance of around 200. Following introductions, and the blessing, everyone enjoyed a delicious meal prepared by the staff.
This year’s play was especially meaningful as the Cadets presented a program that paid tribute to not only Christmas but U.S. veterans. The young men researched both WWI and WWII and incorporated elements that they learned into their skit. Following the performance they had any veteran in the audience stand and the Cadets went around greeting them and handing out cards that they had hand-made for them.
Acting Superintendant Daniel L. Dilly said of the Cadets: “They absolutely look forward to it. They’ve worked hard at it this year.”
Dilly said that every one of the forty-one Cadets participated in some way and that they worked on it since the first of December. The performance has been an annual event for most of thirty years (with only a few years excepted).
Some of the highlights of the evening were a poignant rendition of the song “I’ll be home for Christmas” and a humorous spoof by a talented young Cadet of Johnny Cash’s Folsom Prison Blues.
Many members of the community make this an annual commitment.
County Commissioner Lowell Moore said: “I came to show respect to the Cadets, to let them know there are people out there (in the community) that really care, care not about what they have done but what they can be. The staff here does a great job.”
Fellow County Commissioner Diane Hinkle added: “I think it’s a wonderful community gathering. I used to work with the young men. This event gives them a wonderful opportunity to show their talents.”
Rob Gilligan of West Virginia State Parks summed it up. “It gives a chance for these young men to showcase their talent and share their facility with the public. I’m tickled to death to get to come, (I) look forward to coming every year.”