Youth group puts goodwill plan into action

The STEPS Youth Committee has had to cancel their “STEPPIN’ for a Cause” Dance-a-thon Event.  The cancellation is due to lack of participation.

By Margaret Waage

The STEPS Youth Committee is excited to announce plans for its fundraiser “Steppin” for a Cause,” a Dance-A-Thon event that will benefit the Newtown Prevention Council. The idea for the fundraiser was in the works for some time said Susan Saucier, director of Southington Youth Services and vice president of the executive committee of STEPS Advisory Board.
“We are looking forward to a great night, not only for the dancers but for everyone who comes,” said Saucier. “The kids learn so much about self reliance when they are in charge of planning programs.”
Katherine Myers, an eighth grade DePaolo Middle School student and member of the STEPS Youth Committee suggested a dance event during a meeting last year.  Youth Committee meetings are made up of 20 children and throughout the year to plan for various workshops said Saucier.
By taking charge of event planning from concept through to fruition, the children learn a host of skills that involve thinking creatively, setting goals, finding resources, and working together as a team.  These skills wind up being real world experiences of value that not only helps build stronger community involvement but also helps facilitate individual pride through caring for others.
When Heather Bartley, STEPS Youth Committee advisor, pitched the Dance-A-Thon idea to the STEPS organization at large, the timing was right to put the plan into action.
The Newtown Community Coalition is an organization similar to STEPS. “We all know that Newtown can use our help and support right now,” said Saucier.  The Dance-A-Thon seemed a perfect way for Southington youth to show support and to fulfill their original idea with this purpose in mind.
Steppin’ For A Cause will kick off Friday March 22, at the Southington High School’s East gymnasium.  Arrival for check in is being scheduled between 4:30-5 p.m. and dancing will start at 5: p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Ideally groups of four to six middle school or high school students will make up teams that will dance throughout the evening with at least one person from each group remaining on the floor at throughout the allotted dance time.  Organizers are suggesting each dancer collect at least $20 in pledge donations.
While event planning can be work, the payoff is expected to be lots of fun. “That’s what this is about, too,” said Saucier.
The fun part is in picking out colors and outfits to distinguish themselves as a team identity. Kids can get creative with dressing up and team names. Prizes will be awarded for most creative team and for best dancers.
Spectators are welcome to watch and if they’ve pledged, admission is free. Otherwise public admission will be $5 for adults and $2 for students. Proceeds benefitting Newtown Community Coalition.
For Team Participant Form and Participant Pledge Form visit S.T.E.P.S. website at or for more information contact Susan Saucier, at (860) 276-6281.

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