“Dance Out Cancer is a great example of the way our St. Francis families come together as a community to support each other and provide for those in need,” said St. Francis Eighth Grade Teacher, Ann Cooper. “Many of these students have been personally affected by cancer. Having a positive event to not only honor their experiences, but also rally for a cure provides more than just funds, it provides an outlet for emotions and memories.”
To participate in Dance Out Cancer, families purchased tickets for a night of dinner, dancing, and fun. From face painting and balloon animals, to a chili cook-off amongst staff members, there was tangible joy to the evening. Luminaries artfully designed by students were placed around the perimeter of the St. Francis of Assisi courtyard where the event took place under the stars. Each light represented a family member or friend who lost their fight against cancer.
“Dance Out Cancer is always a ton of fun,” said St. Francis eighth grader, Alyssa L. “It is nice to be outside with music and friends and know that what we are doing will help others who may be sick. It is also hilarious to see our teachers and principal try to whip and nae nae! We could probably make money selling tickets to that on its own!”
Each year that the school has hosted Dance Out Cancer the bar has been set higher and goals have increased. This year’s donation is the largest in the school’s history thanks to the generosity of many families. The funds raised enable the school to be a major sponsor of the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life, now in it's 14th year in Yorba Linda.
The event was chaired by school parent Alicia Anh with assistance from volunteers Laurie Warye-Schoenke, Kathy Darling and many others. Kate Spector, Lead Volunteer for the Yorba Linda / Placentia Relay for Life, will receive the check on behalf of her organization. Beckie Flati, American Cancer Society Marketing and Communications Director and a former St. Francis parent, attended the Dance Out Cancer event and will also be on hand on Friday to receive the check which will be used to support programs of cancer research, education, advocacy, and free patient services.
“It was a beautiful night and a great success,” said Flati. “These eighth graders brought awareness and the funds they have raised will help us we continue to fight this disease.”
“Dance Out Cancer is a wonderful way our students learn that their actions can make an impact on the lives of others,” said principal Tom Waszak. “As our eighth graders are graduating from school, they are making their mark on the community by their good work and generosity.”