Students with an attendee at the Valentines dance

On February 10, 2024, the Carr Center was adorned with hearts, ribbons, and smiles as the Meelia Center for Community Engagement hosted their 32nd annual Valentine’s Day Dance for individuals in the community with intellectual and cognitive disabilities. In addition to the snacks, crafts, and a DJ spinning tunes all day, guests were able to capture special memories with a photo booth.

Over 170 community members and 115 student volunteers participated in the event, spreading the joys of love and inclusion. “I think it’s really important for the community to know that Saint Anselm College is a safe space and everyone feels accepted here,” said politics major Michael Hanna ’26. “My favorite activity at the dance is the photo booth because I love all the smiles.”

Students sitting with attendees at the Valentines dance

The Meelia Center’s Events Coordinator & Student Support Manager Gigi Goulet ’25 shared, “The Valentine’s Day Dance is my favorite event that the Meelia Center puts on… it’s such a wholesome and magical event that brings so much joy into our guests and student volunteers.”

A caregiver from Keene commented, “People from all walks of life, all challenges and all interests are able to come together and have fun in one room, that’s huge. And the college kids are so authentic and fun.”

The Meelia Center’s valentine celebration is a heartwarming event that students and guests look forward to each year. Thank you to everyone who made this event a success! Here’s to the power of love, inclusion and creating magical memories together.