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Candlelighters to benefit from local ‘dance-off’

By Staff | Aug 18, 2009

Tickets are on sale for a local “dance-off” to feature young dancers and benefit children with cancer and blood disorders.
The event is being spearheaded by Dance Dimensions of Cape Coral and will be held Sept. 19 at Good Shepherd School.
The studio will have many of its students compete, but all youths can come and dance, organizers said.
Inspired by popular TV dance shows, the event will have celebrity judges and glitz.
All funds raised will go to Candlelighters of Southwest Florida.
Candlelighters is an independent, self-supporting, nonprofit charity serving all community children with cancer and blood disorders.
The organization has operated in Florida since 1983.
Candlelighter services include support group meetings, teen groups, educational workshops, newsletter subscription, parent directory, lending library, family activities, annual events and emergency funds, as well as referrals to any community or social service organizations.
The organization relies on the support of community citizens, businesses, civic organizations and various foundations to provide funding for services to children with cancer or blood disorders.
All services are free to registered members of Candlelighters.
“I think always when you can get children involved in helping other kids, it can be fun for them,” Candlelighters executive director Klair Snellbaker said, “and not only does it encourage them to volunteer, it is also to do something for someone less fortunate.”
She promised the event will be a fun one, and said one of the Candlelighter children has signed up along with numerous youths from the studio.
“We never know, we may have one of the Candlelighter kids be one of the winners, but we think they are winners every day,” Snellbaker said.
“We do want to stress it is not just for studio kids,” said key organizer, school mother and volunteer Kellie McIntosh. “We want the public to bring their kids to compete and watch. They can sign up to compete in advance, but also if they show up that day we’ll put them in.”
Children ages 18 months old and up can enter the competition.
“That’s the studio’s class ages,” McIntosh said.
They are not just judging talent.
“We’re judging things like character — show us what you’ve got, maybe a great smile,” she said. “We’re not necessarily looking for the best dancer.”
While a local leader in many charitable endeavors such as the school’s Easter Basket Drive, which netted over 1,100 baskets for needy children with a goal of only 500, McIntosh said this charity is personally important to her.
“My husband Daniel is a cancer survivor,” she said. “We’re always looking for those types of organizations because we’ve lived through that.”
McIntosh and her children will be actively supporting the event.
There will be prizes for the dance-off as well as a separate raffle.
Tickets can be purchased for $10 in advance or at the door. The cost of the ticket will include admission to the dance-off and one raffle ticket.
Additional raffle tickets will be available during the event.
For more information, call Dance Dimensions at 573-7837.
Dance Dimensions is located at the corner of Hancock Bridge Parkway and Orange Grove Boulevard, on the border of North Fort Myers and Cape Coral.