Alice High School students gathered at the school's activity center dressed in formal attire for the 23rd Anniversary Military Ball on Friday, Jan. 22, hosted by the JROTC.

The girls wore dresses of all colors as the boys wore their military, law enforcement or other formal attire. Students danced to music of all genres and danced the night away.

“The kids are the ones that make this program happen I just stir them in the right direction," said Master Sgt. Mary Lane. “If the kids don’t get it done then it doesn’t happen because it all depends on their effort.”

JROTC objectives are to educate and train high school cadets in citizenship, promote community service, instill responsibility, character, self-discipline, and provide instruction in air and space fundamentals.

On top of all the preparations for the ball the students had an evaluation. The students managed to receive the highest rating and still managed to put together an amazing ball. “It was a stressful time, but they managed to bring it all together,” Lane stated.

Students at the ball socialized with each other in between dances.

For many students like Gabriella Guerra the ball was their first time attending the event. “This is my first year attending and I think it's going to be great.”

Students and some adults made their way to the dance floor. The music had dancers showing off their skills on the dance floor. Master Sgt. Lane got out on the dance floor danced a song with her students.

“Great music. (I'm) glad to be here and surprised we got Sgt. Lane on the dance floor," said student Mariah Ramos.

To mark the celebration, the annual cutting of the cake took place. Traditionally, the youngest and oldest members of JROTC have the honor to do so with the special sword.

This year's honorary guest was Lulu Ramirez who has battled a heart condition. Ramirez was made an official cadet and was the youngest person to attend the event. The oldest cadet was Commander Conor Andersen and Ramirez cut the cake.

Also in attendance was the Junior Police Academy and their sponsor Juan Garcia.

"The decorations are nice. I’m impressed with (the outcome),” Garcia said. “The food was very delicious and the students seem to be having a great time and I’m glad to be apart of it. We got to celebrate their accomplishment.”

The JROTC program is co-instructed by Lane and Major Rick Hall.

The Prince and Princess Foundation donated dresses to the young women for this event. There was a girl fest where the young women had their hair and makeup done at no cost.

With the assistance of Alice Echo News Journal Reporter Melissa Cantu Trevino