The FHC Varsity Dance Team is spreading messages of love this Valentine’s Day


Emma Zawacki

A picture of the suckers that come attached to the Candy Grams

Junior Kaylin Scheuneman is excited to participate in the longstanding dance team tradition of getting a spray tan before they travel down to Orlando, Florida for Nationals. 

“The day before we leave,” Kaylin said, “we all go get a spray tans so when we perform, it’s not like a bunch of ghosts on stage; we all [like to] have a little bit of color to us because the bright lights flush us all out.”

The 16 girls on the Forest Hills Central Varsity Dance Team leave on February 17th for their National competition down in sunny Orlando. The team is competing in the Pom, Jazz, and Hip Hop categories for a chance to take home a title.

The girls are selling Candy Grams on Feb. 9th, 10th, and 11th during all three lunches for $1. Then, for Valentine’s Day, the girls will pass out all of the Candy Grams to whoever was sent one during first hour. The money that they raise will be given to local veterans like Student Council did this December with Candy Grams.

“[A Candy Gram is] a sucker and a note,” said senior dance team co-captain Abby Drueke. “You can ask your crush to Winterfest or confess your love to someone secretly.”

While these Candy Grams are the perfect opportunity to declare your love for those around you, it’s also a great chance to share your appreciation with those closest to you like your friends, your teachers, and even students. 

Valentine’s Day serves something more than just romantic relations. It is for showing your love and affection for whomever that may be.

— Abby Drueke

I had a teacher buy 30 of them,” history teacher Laura Stiles said. “She came up to me, [and] she handed 30 bucks. I gave her 30 cards. She wrote [one] for everybody in one of her classes because she liked that class so much. I’ve even seen teachers go above and beyond. I’ve seen teachers buy them for their kids who are students.”

Candy Grams aren’t just about the romantic relationships in your life, they’re also for the platonic ones. The note and sucker combination is sure to make the receiver’s day, and the donation goes a long way in helping the dance team. 

Even if it’s a platonic relationship,” Abby said, “it should still be celebrated. Valentine’s Day serves something more than just romantic relations. It is for showing your love and affection for whomever that may be. I might give, per se, my best friend [senior] Avery [Jordan] a Candy Gram because she deserves it, and she’s been working hard.”

Even though the dance team is selling the Candy Grams this year, the main idea of this fundraising technique has been used at FHC for a long time.

“The original idea [for] Candy Grams–for like 60 years–[was that they] were always sold the week before a dance,” Stiles said. “So the week before Homecoming, the week before Winterfest, the week before Prom. The idea was that you would buy one for your date, and it was a chance to just say, ‘Oh, I can’t wait to see you!’ But now, it’s just like you buy your best buddy one, which I love.”

If you’re looking to purchase a Candy Gram later this week, the dance team will have a table set up in the lunchroom for the rest of the week where you can purchase your paper and write a short, expressive note to those closest to you.

In this day and age, we don’t get very many opportunities to send our classmates handwritten notes expressing how much we appreciate them—whether they hold a romantic or platonic place in our hearts. These Candy Grams are not only the perfect opportunity to share our love for each other, but it also is a chance for us to support the veterans in the community. 

“If we deliver 1,000 Candy Grams of kindness and friendship on Valentine’s Day,” Stiles said, “I will be the happiest teacher in the world.”