This timeline reflects the determination of one woman who had a dream to build and unite the dance community around the cause of fighting cancer. That woman is Sandy Coyte, and her efforts have inspired thousands of dancers to join the cause as friends who care donating their time, energy and creativity at performances and events. In 2011, Sandy proudly welcomed six new companies as board members, along with several new brands and individuals, to keep the momentum going. We’re proud of our history and mission. It’s a beautiful, meaningful endeavor. Let’s keep fighting, together!
Our first annual benefit competition was held October 19, 2002, at Nutley High School in Nutley, NJ. Ten dance studios joined together with a dedicated staff of volunteers and generous community supporters to launch an event that generated $9,360 for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation North Jersey Affiliate.
The second annual benefit, also held at Nutley H.S., on October 19, 2003, raised funds in memory of [short ID] Nicole Perez. $17,600 was raised and distributed to different groups, including Wigs by Nicole ($1,600) to support women in the Nutley community, and The Young Survival Coalition ($8,000) through a grant that was generously matched by the Val Skinner Foundation to continue their support of young women within the breast cancer community.
For our third annual benefit, we returned to Nutley H.S. on October 30, 2004, with the goal of exceeding our previous total in order to provide funding for the Strang Cancer Prevention Center. This goal was accomplished with the overwhelming total of $24,736, which went to directly support a research project entitled Identification of Genes Associated with Breast Cancer Metastatic to Bone Marrow.
After witnessing the incredible advances made by this project, we decided to continue funding it with the proceeds of our fourth annual benefit. We presented a check for $31,216 to Dr. Thomas J. Fahey III to continue efforts at Strang Cancer Prevention Center in NYC. In addition, through sales of breast cancer-related merchandise at Starbound National Talent Competitions throughout the 2005 and 2006 seasons, we raised another $70,160 for Strang. And Dance Spirit Magazine added to the effort by holding a raffle that raised over $2,600.
In celebration of our fifth anniversary, we expanded Dancing Today for Tomorrow’s Cure, sponsored by Starbound National Talent Competition, to two locations and dates: October 29, 2006, at Montclair State University, Montclair, N.J.; and January 27, 2007, at Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, Redondo Beach, Calif.
2007 and 2008
Fund-raising continued via benefit competitions and merchandise sales from Starbound and dance studios across the U.S., and a major awareness-building campaign kicked into gear, fueled by dance company Sequins Direct and its “Power of SHINE” wristband drive. Theri & Jacqui Bolsh held its annual “Why Walk When You Can Dance” benefit performance uniting dance studios from all across New Jersey. Not Your Ordinary Dancers jumped in with various fundraisers at its studio. The combined amounts from all the events brought our total donation to over $325,000 for these two years!
In January, we welcomed new board members Starbound National Talent Competition, Dansco, Break the Floor Productions, Not Your Ordinary Dancers, Capezio Ballet Makers and Elizabeth Barry & Associates. March brought the launch of Dancers Care Friend Cards, our grassroots awareness-building tool. In September, we unveiled our new motto “We All Need Someone” and new song, “A New Day,” and followed in October with our nationwide cause-related choreography contest and the launch of our email newsletter. November of this month celebrates the launch of our new website.
We’re proud of what the Dancers Care Foundation has done since our founding in 2002, going from 0 to $553,000 in nine years. It’s all been possible through the united efforts of the dance community. This year we have seen many new ways of fundraising from different parts of the community. Dance studio fundraisers, restaurant benefits, auctions, etc. To find out how you can be more involved and how you can help make a difference, check out our Get Involved page or email email@example.com for more information.
2013 and beyond
This year was a banner year for the Dancers Care Foundation. More than ever, the general public as well as members of the dance community, studios and corporate sponsors alike, have reached out to put the donation total to over $959,000! With your help we are confident that we will reach our milestone goal of one million dollars in 2014. Help us make history along with thousands of dancers, studios and organizations who are joining the cause. With this growing, unified effort, we think it can happen. It’s a New Day.
Please take a moment to view our video with Melissa Sandvig of SYTYCD and familiar dance people who have a special message of unity. You can help by sharing our video with your friends via Facebook or embedding the clip on your web page. There are many ways to make a difference. If you’re looking to do more, please click and get involved.