This year, the dance ensemble will be dancing for a cause. Proceeds from the annual dance ensemble show on April 15 will be donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation in New York City.

However, the fundraiser is not just an act of community service; it is an act of love and remembrance.

The fundraiser is being run by Elizabeth Maida ’05, treasurer of the dance ensemble. Eight years ago, her mother, Lorrie Maida, lost a six-year battle against breast cancer. Maida was in eighth grade.

“I don’t ever think I will really be okay with it. At first I was in shock, but over a long period of time I was in grief,” said Maida about her mother’s death.

Maida believes that she is a dancer today because of her mother’s efforts when Maida was a child.

“My mom paid all my dance bills, was at every recital and every competition,” said Maida.

Alicia Haraskin, secretary of dance ensemble, also lost her mother, Josephine, to breast cancer in September 2003.

“I think this is so great that Liz has organized this fundraiser in honor our mothers. It really means a lot to me,” said Haraskin.

This is the first time the dance ensemble has held a fundraiser. Two dollars of each ticket sold will be donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The women hope to raise $1,400 from ticket sales.

Maida said that she has also been asking local businesses to help out in aid with this cause. The businesses can pay to a put an advertisement in the show’s program, and part of that money will be used in the fundraiser.

Maida said that she sent letters to all of the parents of the dancers and her friends and family to donate money. The dancers’ goal is to raise a total of $3,000.

“This is not just a fundraiser to me, this is a personal effort. I am doing this for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and for myself. I don’t care how much time it takes or effort,” said Maida.

Maida decided to donate to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation because she wanted to make sure that the money would be going toward research to find a cure for breast cancer.

“I did this because it’s so important to me, it’s so important to me that they find a cure. I’m so passionate about it,” said Maida.

According to, every three minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer. It is estimated that during this year alone, 216,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed and 40,000 women will die from the disease.

When Maida contacted the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, she said they were extremely pleased about her efforts. Robbie Finke, director of marketing and corporate sponsors for the foundation, told Maida that 85 cents of each dollar will be donated to finding a cure for breast cancer.

Maida said that she has also been trying to get the attention of local newspapers and news stations so more people will know about it and donate.

“This is the first time dance ensemble has had a fundraiser, but I want people to know about it, so it will become a tradition and continue,” she said.

In addition to the fundraiser, Maida and Haraskin are going to dance a duet in their mothers’ honor to the Martina McBride song, “In My Daughter’s Eyes.” The dance is in lyrical form, which means that the dancers are expressing the song lyrics through their movements.

“Part of the reason why Alicia and I are dancing a duet in honor of our mothers is because our mothers are the reason why we are dancers today,” said Maida.

The dance ensemble show is on April 15, at 8 p.m, and will include hip-hop, ballet, lyrical, modern, tap and jazz dances by its 30 members. Tickets are $7 for students and $10 for general admission.

If students would like to donate to the fundraiser, tax deductible checks, made out to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation can be mailed to Box 2076. The deadline for donations is March 31.

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