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Dance fundraiser: D'Valda gala supports Conn. students for 18 years

This canvas ballet print with a gift certificate from Beam & Barre was one of the many donated auction items at the March 8 D'Valda and Sirico Gala and Auction
photo by Joyce Hyde

On March 8, dance enthusiasts came to support their fellow dancers in style and enjoy a stellar evening of dance and music performances at the eighteenth annual D’Valda & Sirico Gala and Auction, at Fairfield University’s Quick Center for the Arts. The evening included a full spread of hors d'oeuvres, silent auction items from gift baskets to photography sessions and live auction excitement with donations from Nascar experiences to sports tickets, vacations and more. The gala event was to support the D’Valda and Sirico Dance and Music Centre’s annual scholarship program, and a good time was had by all.

“This year we have some new families, new dancers and as always good energy” said Dawn Macchiarelli, as the evening performance got underway. Macciarelli, D&S Managing Director for the past 24 years also serves as Event Director for the Gala. “We consistently raise anywhere from 20-25K annually, and with this year’s response we are confident to raise at least as much if not more.”

The Gala and Auction is the major fundraising effort to finance the Dance and Music Centre’s annual scholarship program. According to Macciarelli “we never turn a student away due to an inability to pay. Throughout the season, families may find themselves in need due to unexpected circumstances, so we sometimes have to dig a little deeper to cover additional costs.”

Scholarships are awarded to aspiring singers and musicians “based on need and desire. We give them out to performers of all levels,” says Simone DePaolo, D&S Assistant Artistic Director. “The scholarship submission process begins in May, with recipients being notified late August to begin for the fall term.”

Saturday’s evening of entertainment included current Centre company members along with works from Centre alumni such Broadway choreographer Richard Hinds, as well as special guest artists from the Broadway stage and national touring companies. According to Angela D’Valda and Steve Siricio, who have provided dance and music classes to students for over 27 years, the Gala represents an “opportunity to showcase talented performers and choreographers,” and also “be able to give talented young people the opportunity to realize their dreams and pursue their goals.”

Great entertainment, done in style, for a great cause.

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