Bop to the Sock Hop

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By Kirsten Laskey

Travel back in time to a different era  where poodle skirts and saddle shoes were in vogue and Elvis ruled the radio. It will be simple to revisit the 1950s, just head over to the Los Alamos Family Strengths Council’s Fabulous Fifties Sock Hop.


This is the fifth year that Family Council has held the fundraiser, and each year it celebrates the highlights of ‘50s. For instance, Tim Gallegos, the disk jockey, will play ‘50s favorites, and Morrie Pongratz, also known as Elvis, will serve as the emcee.

There will be dancing, door prizes donated by Los Alamos businesses and contests for hula-hooping as well as bubble gum blowing.  

Additionally, soda shop food — featuring burgers, root beer floats, Cokes in-the-bottle and other treats — will be available for purchase.

There will also be a special kids’ meal that includes a toy.  A highlight of the event is the annual raffle for a Secundino Sandoval original painting.

Only 100 tickets are sold for the raffle and the winner will be announced at the Sock Hop.   

Family Council Executive Director Joy Beery explained the sock hop originated from the council’s desire to have a signature event and to raise money.

“We, the board and the staff, were talking about fundraisers and were trying to (come up with) a signature event … because there is never enough money from insurance companies to completely fund our programs … (and) we wanted to do something that was family oriented and someone came up with the idea of a 1950s family-themed sock hop,” she said.

While having a great time is one of the objectives, another is to spread awareness about the Family Council.

“We want to help people to remember we need to provide services for kids and adults in our community.

The whole youth activity program is a prevention program used to help kids develop resiliency and it is staffed by people who are trained as prevention specialists.

“We’re tying to focus attention on programs that are offered and have people support them financially in a fun situation like the sock hop,”

Beery said.

The organization’s Counseling Center provides psychological evaluation, therapy and treatment programs for children, adolescents and adults. In an average month, the Counseling Center sees 250-350 clients.  

Other LAFC services include a “crisis line” with a 24-hour, seven-day a week on-call therapist, two Youth Activity Centers that offer safe and supervised after-school facilities for children in third through eighth grades in White Rock and Los Alamos and the Community Health Council, which works to identify the needs of the community, locate resources and provide a forum for collaboration among providers.  

United Way, Los Alamos County and the Department of Health support these programs.  

The sock hop will be held from 6-10 p.m. March 20 at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church.  Originally, the fundraiser was held at Fuller Lodge but the space grew too small for dancing.

Tickets are $10 for individuals and $35 for families. They can be purchased at the door, Brownell’s Hallmark or at the Family Council office at 1505 15th St.

For more information, call the council at 662-4160.