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Elms College Dance Team to Host Cancer Fund-raiser Concert

CHICOPEE — The Elms College dance team will hold a dance concert in celebration of life and love on Sunday, April 17 at 7:30 p.m. in Veritas Auditorium. Proceeds from the concert will benefit the We Love Riley Fan Club, an organization that promotes childhood cancer awareness and research, and provides assistance to children and families living with this disease.

This is the fourth year the dance team has organized this event in partnership with the organization — named for 8-year-old Riley Román of South Hadley, who died of pediatric brain cancer in 2012 — which also raises money to donate Starlight Fun Center Mobile Entertainment Units to hospital departments serving children with brain cancer and brain tumors.

The concert will feature a variety of dance styles, from hip-hop to contemporary. “We will have dancers of all different ages and experiences, from beginners to professionals, from all over Massachusetts,” said Justine Butler, the dance team’s co-captain with Kendal Cassada. Many of the dancers will come from Elms, but some will come from other area colleges, such as Bay Path University, or local dance studios.

The show will last approximately 90 minutes, with a 15-minute intermission during which raffle prizes will be announced, and refreshments and baked goods will be sold. Tickets cost $8 for adults and $5 for students. Attendees may reserve tickets online at bit.ly/1WnxAxG — this option guarantees the student price for all tickets reserved. Payments accepted by cash or check only; checks may be made payable to the Elms College Dance Team. Additional donations are also welcome.

“This event should bring the community together as advocates for change and awareness while enjoying and appreciating the arts,” Butler said.

The Elms College Dance Team is a club sport with 15 members. The advisor is Maureen Holland, and coach Noel St. Jean-Chevalier runs practices and choreographs routines.

“Participating in these events allows us students to reach beyond our academic potential and see the change that we can make in our community,” Butler said. “College isn’t just about growing as a student with the hopes of graduating with a career — it is about growing in character and faith to ultimately reach our fullest potential, so that we can thrive in our ever-changing world. Dance, academics, and community events allow us to become well-rounded and passionate individuals. They enable students to become leaders and advocates for their passions and desires — to make a difference.”

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