Dazzle Benefit Raises over $190K for Arts Education in Schools

Date: April 18, 2016

Denyce Mylson
Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania
609-243-9000 x202
[email protected]

Dance for the Arts!

Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania’s Gala,
Raises over $190,000 for Arts Education in Schools!

PRINCETON, NJ; April 18, 2016 — On Saturday, April 2, Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania (YA), the area’s largest arts education non-profit, celebrated with a special black tie gala, Dazzle: Mad Hot Ballroom, Anything Goes at the Princeton Hyatt. The benefit included a performance by students of YA’s Trenton Adopt-A-School initiative currently participating in a dance residency, and a dance competition a la “Dancing With the Stars” where VIP dancers were paired with professional dancers.

Dazzle: Mad Hot Ballroom raised over $190,000 and all donations will support YA in its mission to inspire young people and expand their learning through the arts. The generous donations included $54,450 that was raised for YA’s Adopt-a-School Program in celebration of the initiatives 10th anniversary serving Trenton’s children.

“The arts programs strengthen academic concepts, bring a diverse perspective to learning, encourage positive choices, build character, and promote hard work and student achievement,” shared Karen Baker an Art Teacher from Village Charter School that is part of YA’s Adopt-a-School Program.

A highlight of the night, four VIP dancers, paired with professional dancers, competed for the disco ball trophy and included Lambertville resident, Carol Cronheim (New Jersey’s former Assistant Secretary of State), Trenton resident, Dan Fatton (Executive Director of the Work Environment Council), Princeton Junction resident, Stacy Mattia (Senior Vice President of OceanFirst Bank) and Michele Minter (Vice Provost for Institutional Equity and Diversity at Princeton University).  They all gave stellar dance performances and after a very close race, Stacy Mattia and professional dance partner from Fred Astaire Dance Studio, Juan Ramirez, garnered the coveted prize (and bragging rights) with their upbeat Latin dance routine.

The amount of hard work and dedication that all of the dancers put into this event was tremendous. When asked why they were moved to commit to being a VIP dancer, Carol Cronheim replied, “I’m delighted to be putting on my dancing shoes to help support arts education. I have seen firsthand that the work Young Audiences does with children is truly transformative. Kids break out of their shells, find new ways to communicate, and come to love learning, many for the first time in their lives. I’m dancing so that Young Audiences will reach even more children with their fantastic programs.”

Carol Cronheim, Stacy Mattia, Dan Fatton and Michele Minter join the ranks of Dazzle VIP dancers from the past three years including: Barbara Coe, Chris Daggett, Denise Wood Darder, Sue Evans, Jill Jachera, Chris Long, Tamara Matteo, Bobby Mascia, Jon McConaughy, Katie Hughes Redmond, Jeff Perlman and Bryce Thompson.

The positive feedback from Dazzle guests has been overwhelming. One guest that was new to Young Audiences expressed, “We had a wonderful time–it was by far one of the best fundraisers we have attended! We have been spreading the word about the work Young Audiences provides to our community!” Another shared, “What a perfect evening sharing YA’s mission!  Everyone had a wonderful time. The night was flawless.”

YA Trustee and Gala Co-Chair Liz Fillo expressed, “This kind of success comes when our extraordinary community works together to create opportunities for a great cause.

YA President & CEO Michele Russo expressed “This celebration of arts education is a tribute to the hard work and dedication of our board of trustees and staff. When arts education supporters – both veteran and new to this cause – come out to support us with donations and enthusiasm, it reaffirms our commitment to serving every child every year with the best in arts education.”

For more information about Dazzle: Mad Hot Ballroom and to see pictures and performance videos from the evening go to www.DazzleYA.org.

Dazzle: Mad Hot Ballroom IV received additional support from generous corporate sponsors, including Eisner Amper, Callaway Henderson Sotheby’s International Realty, Cohen, Seglias, Pallas, Greenhall & Furman, Drinker Biddle & Reath, Fred Astaire Dance Studio, M&T Bank, Mathematica Policy Research, Merrill Lynch, Princeton Area Community Foundation, Princeton BMW/MINI, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, UBS Voorhes Blitz Amerio Group, and Volvo of Princeton/Long Motor Company.

Dazzle MHB Winners!

Young Audiences Disco Ball Trophy Winners Stacy Mattia and Juan Ramirez

MLK Studentts at Dazzle

Students from Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School performing at Young Audiences’ Gala Benefit

Founded in 1973, Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania is the premier arts-in-education resource in the region, providing high-quality performances and artist-in-residence programs to nearly 700 schools each year. Young Audiences’ extensive professional artist roster represents all art forms—from dance and theater to music, language and visual arts. The organization annually reaches nearly 500,000 children pre-kindergarten through grade 12.

A not-for-profit organization, Young Audiences’ programs are accessible to all socio-economic, ethnic, cultural, and geographic communities, and are designed to strengthen the arts in schools, meet local and state curriculum standards, involve families in arts activities, and enrich cultural life in New Jersey and Pennsylvania communities.

Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania is the first arts education organization designated as a major service organization by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and, as part of the national network of Young Audiences, Inc., was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Clinton. Young Audiences programs are made possible in part through a grant from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State and Pennsylvania Council of the Arts. Additional funding comes from foundations, corporations and generous individuals. To learn more, visit www.yanjep.org. To be “social” with us, join us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @YANJEPA and on Instagram @young_audiences_njepa.