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Local Dance Studio Raises Money For Charles Lea Foundation Center

There is nothing better than dancing for a cause and Miss Marion’s School of Dance knows just how to put on a show for their community. The local studio hosted their fifth annual fundraising show in support of the Charles Lea Foundation Center on March 14th at Twitchell Auditorium. 

Miss Marion’s alumnae from all over attend this event annually. This year, the dancers and staff were able to raise $5,200 through ticket sales, fundraising, and a live auction throughout the performance. 

Lori Axelrod, daughter of Marion Feinstein and owner of Miss Marion’s School of Dance was overjoyed that the studio was able to put on a live performance after a year of virtual classes. 

“It makes me cry, just to be able to see people’s faces in the audience,” Axelrod said, “even just seeing them in masks.”

The dancers kicked off the event with their production number from last year. Due to COVID this was the first time they were able to perform the Wizard of Oz inspired number. After this number, many other solos and group dances followed. 

Between dances, a live auction took place. Robyn Maggio, former Miss Marion’s dancer, auctioned off baskets, baked goods, and clothing items. The item with the highest bid, a homemade chocolate moose, sold for over $200. 

Another former Miss Marion’s dancer, Wendy Taylor, now has a daughter dancing at Miss Marion’s. Due to the pandemic, this was the first time she was able to perform live in front of an audience. 

“I am so proud of Emery today,“ Taylor said. “The fact that my daughter was able to give back to a community of people makes me so proud to be a part of this dance family.”

The studio chooses a different foundation for their show each year. This year they chose the Charles Lea Foundation Center, a Disability Service. Miss Marions has been involved with this foundation for years teaching classes and performing for the center. 

Maggie Thompson, a Miss Marion’s student and Event Coordinator, chose the center as a platform for her high school pageant. She said that she was inspired to get involved because she personally knows people the Charles Lea Center helps. 

“I have family members who have been affected by disabilities like the people at the Charles Lea Center,” Thompson said “I chose Charles because I knew personally what it felt like to have someone in your family with disabilities. And it was very important to me.” 

The fundraising spring show is Thompson’s favorite time of year. Since it has been over a year since she has performed live, this show was more special. 

“I finally got to do something again that I love,” Thompson said. “After being deprived for so long, it was a great feeling.”