Thursday, November 15, 2012

Bye-Bye Sandy – Hello, Wonderful World

Jeannie Penatello and FADS Area Developer Laura Martin contacted us to share everyone’s incredibly uplifting experience at the NY/NJ Regional Competition last weekend in New Jersey.  Read on – this is amazing!! 

Laura Martin writes:

As you are aware, Hurricane Sandy impacted New York and New Jersey pretty severely, and it was touch and go whether we would even be able to hold our Regional Competition. In the end, the hotel got power back on Sunday, and we arrived the next Wednesday, 11/7, in Parsippany, a town still without power. Fortunately, we were only missing a small number of people due to the loss of their homes, but sadly, the Red Bank area was really devastated and had to cancel altogether. It was amazing the energy and enthusiasm of the attendees who did participate, and everyone really came together to be supportive. The camaraderie was beautiful.

Charlie, Jeannie, Armando and I decided to hold a Mix-n-Match event on Saturday evening during the banquet to raise money for the Red Cross in support of the people who had experienced Sandy’s devastation.  We charged $30 per dance and all pros (including the judging panel) were available to dance! We collected $4,290, which we doubled according to the organizers’ announcement that we would match whatever we collected. So, by the end of Saturday afternoon, we had come up with $8,580. 

During our announcement of what we had raised, a generous, anonymous donor matched what the organizers gave: an additional $4,290!  This brought the total to $12,870. We had a fabulous Mix-n-Match and were so thrilled with the raised amount, but the thrills kept right on coming! A student at the banquet gave $500 and then the mind-blowing moment came when another student wrote a check in the amount of $20,000!  In the end, New York and New Jersey Fred Astaire studios raised $33,370 for the Red Cross’s disaster relief fund. It was an absolutely unbelievable evening and we are so proud of our region's generosity and selflessness during such a devastating time.

We are, as always, grateful that ‘good works’ are so often a part of our lives as a result of being in the Fred Astaire organization. One more time, we came up to the plate for a worthy cause. Thank you, everyone – you made a difference!