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Ballroom dance club to honor WWII vets

The Wally Gingers Orchestra.

WHEELING — The Big Band 200 Club in Wheeling will commemorate the 78th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor by honoring World War II veterans.

The dance on Dec. 7 will feature the Wally Gingers Orchestra, which is the only band in the region that was playing during World War II and still plays today. Band leader Clare Copenhaver’s father, George Tajc, formed the original band and took the professional name Wally Gingers. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1942 and served four years as an artillery gunman.

Because of his talent, he was asked to join the Army band but chose to remain with the artillery.

World War II veterans are invited to attend the dance without charge, and they will be recognized at the dance for their service. They may also bring a guest at no charge.

The usual dress code will be altered that evening to allow for the wearing of suits and dresses from or like those from that time period.

The dance will be held the Osiris Shrine in Elm Grove and will begin at 7 p.m.

“When we were making up the 2019-2020 schedule with the Shrine, we saw that December 7th was open,” said Club President David Demarest, whose father served in the armored infantry. “We instantly realized that we had an opportunity to honor the men and women who fought the most awful war in the history of the world.”

Other non-members who wish to attend the dance may do so at a cost; students enter for half-price with proper student identification.

Contact Membership Chairwoman Diane Demarest at 304-280-3206 or bigband200club@hotmail.com or the club’s Facebook page for more information, to subscribe for the rest of the season, or to buy tickets for a single dance.

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