St. John Fisher College will host the thirty-seventh Teddi Dance for Love this Friday and Saturday, February 8 and 9, at the Wilson Athletic Center on campus.
Proceeds from the annual event — a 24 hour dance marathon — support Camp Good Days and Special Times, which offers free programs for children and their families touched by cancer.
Camp Good Days founder Gary Mervis — who’s daughter Teddi was the inspiration behind the organization — and St. John Fisher College student Allison Smith, the Chair for this year’s Teddi Dance for Love discussed the dance Tuesday during News 8 at Sunrise.
“We have a lot of exciting stuff planned,” said Smith. “We’ll start at 8:00 p.m. Friday night. The dance will all be decorated. We have a committee of about 240 people who will be decorating Thursday night and all Friday morning, and then take a little nap before we come in at 8:00 p.m. for the big kickoff. The siren will go and ‘Eye of the Tiger’ will play right at 8:00 p.m. and we’ll do a big, huge run into the gym. And then we’ll start off right up on stage with Opening Ceremonies.”
Last year Teddi 36 raised over $87,000 for Camp Good Days. For Mervis, the Teddi Dance shines a light on the selfless love of the students who organize it. “It’s just amazing when you think that all of these kids who are on the committee dancing.” he said. “Many of them never met Teddi. Many of them weren’t even born when Teddi died, and for me – as Teddi’s dad – I always tell them of all the things that I do each year, my favorite thing by far is going into that gym for the start of that dance and listening to all of these students call out Teddi’s name – you know, Teddi, Teddi. You know, for her dad, that’s a gift that these students give me that’s priceless! It just is so special.”
Mervis went on to explain, “Part of what we do each year with the funds is we take a group of children with cancer down to Orlando to visit some of the attractions, and every year for probably the last 10 years somebody from the dance has come with us. And Allison was with us this year and I think it’s there you really get a chance, because it’s these kids enjoying all that Orlando has to offer with probably the only people in the world who can really understand what it’s like to be them – and that’s other children who are also battling cancer.”
For those who want to get involved by dancing or supporting someone who is dance, Smith said you can visit the Teddi Dance fundraising account at FirstGiving.com — just type in “37th annual Teddi Dance for Love” and the page will come right up.
Smith said you can also go online at Teddi.sjfc.edu. There will be a live stream the day of the dance, so if you just want to watch and see what’s going on, it’s a great way where you see all of the dancers, and each hour will change with a different kind of music.