Monday, February 8, 2016

34th Annual Teddi Dance for Love

The 34th Annual Teddi Dance for Love, which took place at St. John Fisher College on Friday and Saturday, January 29th & 30th, generated more than $54,000.00 to benefit the children and families at Camp Good Days and Special Times.  It is amazing to think that this event has been going on for 34 years and has become such a long-standing tradition and important part of the St. John Fisher College campus, culture and community. 

This year’s Teddi Dance for Love had a lot of “firsts”, some good and some sad.  This was the first year that Dr. Gerard Rooney was there in the role of President of the college.  He, along with his wife, Susan, helped to carry on the tradition on behalf of the administrative team and we were so happy to have had them in attendance.  On the sad side, this is the first year we were without the beloved Father Joe, who passed away in July 2015.  Each year, Father Joe would be at the Teddi Dance for Love, but his most important role, and one of everyone’s favorite parts of the event, is that he would bless all of the dancers’ feet, prior to the dance beginning.  We certainly felt his absence this year, but we know that he was blessing all of those feet from heaven and smiling down, happy to know the dance was going on.

Our kudos go out to this year’s Teddi Dance for Love Chair, Bri Macaluso, who along with her Co-Chair, Hilary Wilcox, and the entire student committee, who all worked so hard and dedicated so much time, in addition to their studies and extracurricular activities, to make this year’s Teddi Dance for Love a resounding success.  In addition, we would like to thank Jennifer Johnson, of 13WHAM TV for serving as this year’s Honorary Chair, and to all those, from the dancers, administration, faculty, staff, and volunteers, who all gave so much of themselves, to benefit the many children and families we serve.

This year we had many, many St. John Fisher College Alumni who came back to participate in the event, one that meant so much to them when they were students.  And, a large group of our campers had the opportunity to attend on Saturday and meet the dancers and they all had a great time together. 

All of the proceeds from the Teddi Dance for Love benefit the children and families at Camp Good Days and specifically go towards helping to make the Annual Florida Trip possible.  This year's Florida Trip is planned for April 21st through 27th and the campers will have the chance to visit Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure, Disney's Epcot Center, LegoLand, and St. Pete Beach.

The Annual Teddi Dance for Love is one of my most favorite events held each year.  The Teddi Dance for Love is a place where the students, along with some of the faculty, staff and administration, come together to celebrate life to the fullest, with some of the campers from Camp Good Days who have learned to appreciate each and every day and the gifts that many of us, so often, take for granted.  As Teddi’s Dad, they also give me something that words can’t describe.  As Dr. Lou Buttino, who started the Teddi Dance for Love when he was a Professor at St. John Fisher, said in his very special book, Camp Good Days and Special Times: The Legacy of Teddi Mervis, ‘Immortality is being loved by anonymous people.’  During the Teddi Dance for Love, Teddi’s spirit is alive and I know that she has touched the lives of all those students, faculty, staff, administrators, volunteers, and campers, who in some way or another have been a part of this special event over the past 34 years.”