Hollywood glamour came to Baldwin High School on Saturday night by way of W.R. Paynter Elementary School’s second annual presentation of “Dreams Come True: Dancing with the Teachers,” benefiting the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
The average cost for the Make-A-Wish Foundation to grant a wish is $3,400, and Saturday’s show helped raise funds so that more wishes can come true. Children with life-threatening medical conditions will get the chance to live their dream and to explore the magical wonder of childhood.
“A wish-come-true helps children feel stronger, more energetic and more willing and able to battle their life-threatening conditions,” Brittany Youngman, development coordinator for Make-A-Wish, said.
Showing a bit of motherly pride, event chair Christy Leslie introduced her daughter and son-in-law–and the evening’s emcees–Lauren Shannon and Brian Hathaway. Leslie also gave a bit of background on the hard work that the event’s dancers had put in over the last couple of months to get ready for their chance to win the night’s “Mirror Ball Trophy.”
The judges, Youngman; Rozana Sweeney, owner of Art & Style Dance Studio; Shari Opfermann, owner of Dance Workshop by Shari; and Drs. Randal A. Lutz and John D. Wilkinson, Baldwin-Whitehall School District assistant superintendents, based their scoring upon the musicality, presentation and creativity of the evening’s performances.
Not only did the teachers perform, but students of local dance schools entertained the audience with a wide variety of styles as well: from little ones of Mary Ellen Shade’s School of Dance kicking and tapping in bright red to Broadway tunes to more-experienced students from the Dance Workshop by Shari’s “SuperStars” and Art & Style competition teams.
Dancer and Paynter Elementary School Principal Darlene DeFilippo showed her great pride in the night’s festivities.
“What is most amazing about this whole experience is that I’m just awestruck by how many people volunteered their time and effort for such a charitable organization like Make-A-Wish,” DeFilippo said. “I just love the fact that this is an all-district event,” she said, sharing a sentiment of Leslie’s.
For some in the audience, the real highlight of the night was when 13-year-old Deven Tyler Brunsell, of Brentwood Borough, took the stage and brought “Bieber Fever” with him. Besides winning many regional contests with his singing, Deven went national in January by taking first place in Justin Bieber’s “Never Say Never” contest.
Once the votes were counted, and the audience recovered from its “fever,” Melissa Sill and Tim Palmer emerged as the night’s winning team and took home the glittering mirror ball.
(View the video at the top of this page to enjoy part of the experience.)