There's just something about middle school dances, isn't there? They're entertaining, fun-- comforting, even. They're all the things students in Ingleside, Texas, needed badly.
Their tiny community near Corpus Christi was battered by Hurricane Harvey. Schools were forced to close for weeks.
"Oh yes, I was very much paying attention. I thought it was terrible," said eighth-grader Audrey McClure.
McClure is the student council president at Cleburne's Smith Middle School. The school had already announced it would help Leon Taylor Junior High down in Ingleside with its hurricane recovery.
"We did the basics, but we wanted to do something special," said Bob Daigle, a math teacher and student council supervisor at Smith.
Daigle, administration and students got to thinking.
"It's kind of one of those lightbulb moments, like, what if we do a dance?" recalled principal Amber White.
"So we were like, we know how to run a dance, and I think we could run a dance pretty well down there," McClure says.
It was decided. Smith's student council would raise the funds to throw a middle school dance down in Ingleside, complete with a DJ and pizza.
This past Friday, 22 students, three staff members, and some parents made the 12-hour round-trip to Ingleside.
The dance was a hit.
"It was amazing. It was awesome," said council members and twins Jaret and Jake Piety. "The smiles were ear to ear. It was amazing."
"I think I stood in a hallway and hugged on a teacher for a good minute or so, and she was just in tears, just so thankful for everything we had done," said Principal White.
Heather Waugh, the principal of Leon Taylor Junior High, told WFAA they were so humbled that these students took the time and energy to do something so positive for them.
Cleburne is a community that knows what it's like to go through hard times. In 2013, a tornado went through the town and hit Smith school. It affected many of the students here. too.
Audrey McClure was one of those students. She was happy to pay it forward.
"We haven't forgotten you guys. You're still here," she said of the students in Ingleside.
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