Support Dance Education for Kids of Our Local Heroes

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November 11, 2015 by Nicole

On Veterans Day, we set aside time to honor the men and women who serve or have served in our armed forces. This Veteran’s Day, the Center for Contemporary Dance has a unique opportunity to give back to our veterans and their families through the Purple Heart Scholarship Fund, a new program designed to provide exceptional dance education experiences for children and Gold Star spouses of combat-injured veterans of Operations Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Enduring Freedom (OEF). Donate now.

A longtime private donor to The Center for Contemporary Dance has generously agreed to match all donations up to $50,000 secured by Thursday, December 31, 2015, meaning your gift will go even further to support and give back to local veterans’ families.

One-year Purple Heart Scholarships specifically fund up to 2 hours of dance class per week and participation 2 annual student concerts.

“The goal is to improve access to arts education and creative experiences for families affected by war,” says Artistic Director Dario J. Moore.  “Through dance, students of all ages learn to express emotions, collaborate with colleagues and exercise the kind of focus and attention required to achieve excellence in both academic and creative arenas.”

To qualify for Purple Heart Scholarship funding, which will be made available in January 2016, the following criteria must be fulfilled:

  1. The student must have a parent or spouse who was deployed in direct support of OIF or OEF, and meets one or more of the following military requirements:
    1. Purple Heart recipient
    2. Medal of Honor recipient
    3. Rated 100% disabled by the Department of Veterans Affairs with a service-connected injury preventing gainful employment
  2. Sponsoring service member received an Honorable Discharge, verified by a copy of DD Form 214.
  3. The family must be registered with the Camaraderie Foundation, a nonprofit provider of veteran services located in Orlando.
  4. Scholarship applicants must be at least 2 years of age; Gold Star spouses are also encouraged to apply.
  5. The student must demonstrate a natural interest in and love for dance.
  6. The student must complete an in-person interview and attend a trial class for purposes of placement.
  7. The sponsoring veteran and students 11+ must complete one hour of volunteer service for each week of dance instruction at a nonprofit organization of their choosing, including but not limited to The Center for Contemporary Dance.

The number of awards distributed in 2016 will depend entirely upon the dollars donated now through December 31, 2015.

“For most wounded veterans, the financial and emotional consequences of war on a family can be devastating,” says Executive Director Craig W. Johnson, “We’re thrilled to receive support from the community that will allow us to provide scholarships for students who would otherwise be unable to benefit from our programs.”

Conducted in accordance with national standards, classes for scholarship recipients include studies in ballet, modern, jazz, tap, hip hop and more.  Classes are designed to expand the student’s creativity, social skills and ability to express thoughts, feelings and ideas in a constructive manner.  In many cases, the weekly dance classes become an important part of scholarship students’ developmental and therapeutic regimen.

Please consider making your tax-deductible donation today. Remember, before December 31, you can double the impact of your gift for families of veterans through the private donor’s matching gift.

Donate online or call (407) 695-8366 for immediate processing.

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