Cadet Joshua Rowson and Franke at Seaside resident Beth Herms
Citadel cadets help make Valentine’s Day memorable for assisted living residents

Valentine’s Day came early for the residents of two different assisted living homes in the Charleston area. Cadets from The Citadel Corps of Cadets made their annual appearance to escort and socialize with the residents during their respective Valentine’s celebrations, which included flowers, dinner, and dancing.

Franke at Seaside, located in Mt. Pleasant, welcomed eight members of The Citadel Rifle Team on Tuesday evening for their annual Sweetheart Ball. "The annual Sweetheart Ball is a longtime favorite of the Franke residents. They look forward to listening to great music, dancing with The Citadel cadets and enjoying the comradery that the occasion brings between the generations," said Kelly Tomlinson, the life enrichment director of Franke at Seaside.

Cadet Joshua Rowson, a sophomore electrical engineering major from Golf Company, enjoyed attending the event and interacting with the residents. "I am grateful that Franke at Seaside allowed The Citadel Rifle Legion to participate in their Valentine's Day event. It was a great experience for the people that live there and for us cadets," said Rowson.

"If anyone would have walked in," continued Rowson, "they could not help but feel the joy in the room, whether it was from the band bringing down the house with amazing guitar solos and great song selection or from the people who lived there letting the music move them as they began to dance. There was one lady in particular, Ms. Beth Herms, who could out-dance the best of us, and I was lucky enough to dance with her. As you can tell from our faces, we really enjoyed ourselves that night. Thank you to Franke at Seaside for letting us partake in the event and we look forward to attending again next year."

Thursday evening was another date for the cadets when five attended the annual Sweetheart Ball at Summit Place of Daniel Island. Sheila Hutto, the healthy generation program service director at Summit Place, said of the event, "For several years now, The Citadel cadets have joined us for our annual Sweetheart Ball. Each year, they present our residents with long stemmed roses for our ladies and boutonnieres for our gentleman, and then escort the residents to their dining table. After dinner, socializing and dancing follows."

Other than the food and the dancing, the conversation is what truly made it memorable. "The most special part of the evening is the intergenerational interaction that takes place. It is so precious to continue to make new memories no matter what age you are. The evening would not be complete without the cadets’ presence!" said Hutto.

Megan Campbell is a graduate assistant in the Office of Communications and Marketing at The Citadel. She is currently working toward her master’s degree in secondary education with a concentration in English.