The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

By Hannah Van Ree

JFK program honors those who serve


Special for the Sun-Telegraph

Army Staff Sgt. Aaron Rucker was officially welcomed home a couple weeks ago by his family (wife Sadie, son A.J. and daughters Molly and Ashley.) He was welcomed home a second time however, but this time by the Sidney community this past weekend during the Just For Kix (JFK) Dance program’s annual Kix For Kids Show. His daughter Ashley, a JFK dancer, is pictured with him in the photo, which was taken at his initial family homecoming. “This picture is priceless,” said JFK Dance Director, Donna Brown-Fort.

Just For Kix (JFK) Dance program members held their annual Kix For Kids Show March 24 and created this year’s show around honoring those who serve in the United States military.

The show took place in the Sidney Middle School gym.

“Our theme this year was United We Dance, American Pride,” said Donna Brown-Fort, the Just For Kix Dance Director.

The show served as a JFK community fundraiser to honor soldiers who have served in the military – past and present.

A total of eight men were recognized at the event and given Just For Kix Military Medals.

The men included: Army Staff Sgt. Aaron Rucker who served overseas in Afghanistan, Hollis Perkins who served in the Army in Vietnam, Army Soldier Brian Fort, Chris Russell who served in the Navy, Army Soldier Tim Alexander, Vaughn Russell who served in the Navy, Paul Hopwood who served in the Air Force, and Army Soldier Tres Falcon.

“All are family members of JFK Dancers, and each dancer put the medal around the neck of their loved one,” said Brown-Fort.

“We also welcomed home Aaron Rucker who has been serving in Afghanistan for the last year,” said the dance director.

Rucker was officially welcomed home by his family (wife Sadie, son A.J. and daughters Molly and Ashley) a couple weeks previous to the event, but he stayed on base and finally returned to Sidney a day before the dance event.

“We moved the date of our show just so he could see his daughters, Molly and Ashley, perform at the show,” said Brown-Fort. “It was an honor to recognize this family. The entire gym was packed and they received a long, standing ovation. It was a wonderful, touching moment and very well-deserved.”

A total of $1,650 was made at the event to be donated. Sidney School District received $200, Peetz Schools received $350, and $1,100 was presented to the Aaron and Sadie Rucker family “to thank and honor them as a dedicated, military family.”

The schools were given the donations for allowing the dance teams to use their facilities for the fundraiser and for allowing them to perform at basketball games.

Special for the Sun-Telegraph

“This was one of our annual community fundraisers and we were excited to give back to local schools and honor this military family who has sacrificed so much over the last year,” said Brown-Fort.

The event was free for children under the age of five, and cost students $3 and adults $5 to attend.

All 10 JFK teams performed including girls ages 2-17-years-old, and the third through twelfth grade dancers performed “America,” a mass routine to a mix of patriotic songs, which closedout the show.

“I think it’s important to bring awareness to the fact that we have families in our community still serving oversees and living without loved ones,” said Brown-Fort. “People forget, but these soldiers and their families are making great sacrifices to serve our country.”


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