Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Studio Raises Money through Gifts of Dance Local Groups Part of Variety Show

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Studio Raises Money through Gifts of Dance Local Groups Part of Variety Show

Article excerpt

Raising money for worthy causes is nothing new to the students at the Dance Workshop by Shari, a dance studio in Whitehall's Caste Village.

They've been fundraising since 2003, hosting a half-dozen benefits annually - benefits such as 5K races, food bank collections and Zumbathons, a dance fitness party.

Recipients include The St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, The Greater Pittsburgh Women's Center and Shelter, Children's Hospital's Free Care Fund and Make-A-Wish Foundation.

"In 2008 we formed the nonprofit Dancing for a Difference, to grow and give our students even more opportunity to share with the community and use their talents to help others," said Cathy Lavin of Peters, studio administrator.

To date, Dancing for a Difference has raised more than $95,000 for local charities and is looking to increase that amount substantially when students from the Dance Workshop join 14 other groups to stage the 11th annual Gifts of Dance and Other Offerings, a variety show that will take place at 3 and 7 p.m. Dec. 6 at Baldwin High School.

"The show will not only feature 100 of our dancers but also children and young adults from surrounding communities," Ms. Lavin said. "Each year, we add new groups and incorporate variety to keep it fresh. It's a wonderful mix of entertainment."

The list of groups participating includes the Harrison Middle School Chorus, Baldwin Elementary School students, Baldwin High Choirs, the Upper St Clair Dance and Hip Hop Teams, the Baldwin Dance Team, the Char Valley Charvalettes Dance Team, the Bethel Park Instrumentalists, the Harrison Middle School Flute Choir, St. Gabriel Elementary students, the Baldwin Community United Methodist Praise Kids Choir, the Mon River Arts Musical Theater, the Pure Ballroom Dancers, Rising Sun Martial Arts, the School of Glee, plus several soloists and duos.

"With all these groups performing, it's definitely a community effort," owner and instructor Shari Opfermann of North Strabane said. "The choirs, schools and church groups are made up mostly of children, which is why we like to refer to the fundraiser as children helping children."

Proceeds from the sale of $8 admission tickets, raffles and concessions will go to the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC's Free Care Fund. …

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