By Tori Mason

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (CBS4) – Two Castle Rock teenagers spent Saturday night getting ready for the big dance, but their pre-party jitters were because they planned it. Nicole O’Hayre and Chris Demma say organizing the Veterans Dance was the least they could do for our nation’s heroes.

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“They have given up so much for our country and I’d like to give back just a little of what they’ve done,” said O’Hayre, “I want to be able to talk to them about their experiences and see what I’ll have to look forward to in my career.”

15-year-old Nicole is a Civil Air Patrol Cadet. She hopes to join the Air Force and become a nurse in the future. Chris Demma is also a Civil Air Patrol Cadet with dreams of joining the Air force. He and O’Hayre didn’t become party planners until a conversation with local veterans at a craft fair last year.

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“They said ‘We want to go on more adventures and do more things with veterans,'” explained Demma, “It seems like there’s only one day out of the year, Veteran’s Day, where we support and show our gratitude for them. I thought why not have a party that’s not on Veteran’s Day, where people can come together.”

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Their vision became a reality Saturday night inside the Philip S. Miller Library in Castle Rock at 6:30 p.m. – or in this case, 1830 hours.

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The Veteran’s Dance took several community sponsors, a little help from their parents and 9 months of planning. Chris and Nicole said if only one guest showed up and had a good time, it was all worth it.

“People can dance, socialize and talk about what they’ve done in the military. If someone said they enjoyed it, that’s all that matters,” said Demma.

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The room full of veterans in attendance said they were more than impressed — they were inspired.

“I just hope that it shows them that people care. They can look up to the future, while enjoying what they’ve done for this wonderful country,” said O’Hayre.

All proceeds from The Veteran’s Dance will benefit Disabled American Veterans.

Tori Mason

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