*Video by Cardinal Television*
By Mike Maraghi and Katy Perry, Staff Writers
As the dance was coming to a close, those in attendance got to witness the amount of success the organization accomplished. Teddi had raised $70,187.45 for Camp Good Days and Special Times, a summer camp for kids with cancer and other illnesses, which was revealed by the kids in a magic trick.
This is especially significant since it was over a remarkably $16,000 more than the roughly $54,000 it had raised last year.
The Teddi Dance for Love is the culmination of a year-round Fisher-sponsored program dedicated to the children of Camp Good Days and Special Times. The 24 hour dance marathon is hosted by the Teddi Committee at the St. John Fisher College Athletic Center, from 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 17 until 8 p.m. on Saturday Feb. 18.
Scott Swigart was one of the hundreds of Fisher students, alumni and community volunteers involved in the 35th annual Teddi Dance for Love. Swigart has a close connection to the cause, as his dad, former Dean and Founder of the Wegmans School of Pharmacy, passed away two years ago from Pancreatic Cancer.
“There’s just something special about walking in the first time and getting that feeling like, ‘It’s Teddi, it’s one of the best events of the year’ and it’s just so special walking in for the first time,” said Swigart.
“A lot of people come to support the kids and I think it really brings the Fisher community together,” said Hilary Wilcox, Chair of the Teddi Committee. “Everybody pretty much knows about Teddi, and it’s a really fun event that we can do really great things and still have a really great time.”
The Teddi program began in 1982 following the inauguration of Camp Good Days and Special Times, which was created in honor of Elizabeth “Teddi” Mervis who was diagnosed with terminal cancer. The camp remained open after her passing to continue to serve those in need. Thirty-five years later, the camp thrives as a beacon of hope and passion to celebrate the lives of these exceptional individuals and raise the necessary funds for them to live their dreams.
To Alyssa Mabee, sophomore and member of the outreach committee, Teddi is more than just a once a year occasion.
“I think Teddi means to me just a big group of random people that come from all different walks of life raising money for kids that have been affected by some pretty terrible things at an early age in life,” said Mabee.
“I’ve been to the camp and have been donating the last 6 years raising at least $100 each year because it costs about $800 for a kid to go to camp, so by my senior year I will have raised enough money to send one person to camp,” said Mabee.
Stephen Lapointe and Jenna Keppel received the Exceptional Spirit Awards for their participation and enthusiasm at the dance. Yamiles Espinal received the Jeff Rohde Senior Spirit Award for attending previous Teddi dances and displaying awesome spirit and energy. The two teams that raised the most funding were team Fisher Players and team Twinkle Toes.
Freshman Shannon Perrotta was in attendance with her fellow freshman friends Sierra Dowdle and Ashley Lawless. They expressed that they felt that “As Teddi was coming to an end, I was tired but more importantly proud to be a part of Teddi and to have completed the twenty-four hours!”
“My favorite moment is definitely coming and hanging out with the kids. It’s kind of bittersweet because of the position they’re in but having to see them be happy and hanging out and doing normal kids stuff is really fun, especially when you’re super sleep deprived.”
– Sophomore Alyssa Mabee
Dowdle and Lawless both agreed that one of their favorite parts of Teddi was being able to dance with the kids.
“It was nice to be able to dance with the kids and see how much fun they were having,” said Dowdle. “During the camp song hour, it was like we were getting a better sense of what they enjoyed and experienced at camp, so that was a lot of fun.”
All three felt that the early hours of Saturday morning were the hardest part as the drowsiness kicked in. However, they assured they were entertained with little performances throughout the event such as the different song category hours and acts by the band Big Tuna and the Fishermen and the Ramblers.
Overall there was a great sense of pride and accomplishment, maybe a little bit tired too, from everyone who participated in Teddi.
“My favorite moment is definitely coming and hanging out with the kids,” said Mabee. “It’s kind of bittersweet because of the position they’re in but having to see them be happy and hanging out and doing normal kids stuff is really fun, especially when you’re super sleep deprived.”