SOLD-OUT DANCING UNDER THE STARS EVENT RAISES $50,000 FOR NEW FES BIKE
YMCA OF GREATER PROVIDENCE TO EXPAND ACCESSIBILITY TO ADAPTIVE EQUIPMENT
Warwick, RI: The YMCA of Greater Providence’s Dancing Under the Stars gala held at the Crowne Plaza in Warwick on June 20 drew a sold-out crowd of 300 people and featured a dance competition with nine business and community leaders who were paired with expert dance partners from Fred Astaire Dance Studios. The event raised $50,000, which will go directly towards the purchase of a Functional Electronic Stimulation (FES) bike. This uniquely designed exercise bike helps improve the cardiovascular health in patients with neurological and spinal cord injuries.
“At the YMCA, we believe we have something special- a sense of community- and that everyone should have access to it, along with programs and services that help us learn, grow and thrive,” said Steven G. O’Donnell, CEO of the YMCA of Greater Providence. “We count on the generosity of our local community partners to help us continue our vital work and are deeply grateful for all of the support.”
The YMCA partnered with the Tori Lynn Andreozzi Foundation and Fred Astaire Dance Studio in the second annual Dancing Under the Stars Gala. On March 26, 2003, 12-year-old Tori Lynn Andreozzi was struck by a drunk driver and suffered a traumatic brain injury and paralysis. Tori, who uses the FES bike at the Newman and South County YMCAs, participated as a spotlight dancer.
The Dance Awards went to:
- Top vote getter and People’s Choice – Karl Wadensten, VIBCO CEO
- Judge’s Pick – Sara Firetto, Providence College Director Alumni Relations
- Most Entertaining – Mira Estaphanous, USI Insurance Services, Inc.
Other Guest Dancers (who also performed amazingly well) included: Hilina Ajakaiye, Founder R.I.S.E. Women’s Leadership Conference; Katrina Delicato, Rhode Island Convention Center; Christina Cho, Balletto Realty/Tiger Balletto Foundation; Gary Balletto, Balletto Realty/Tiger Balletto Foundation; Swetha Nataraj, MD, Fall River Nephrology; and Kishore Lakshman, MD, Prima-Care Medical Center.
Gene Valicenti from Channel 10 News was the guest host, and judges included: Rogelio Garcia: Fred Astaire Dance Studios, Barbara Morse Silva: Channel 10 News and Rosie Fernandez: Cox Communications and last year’s Dancing Under the Stars Champion.