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Dance the Night Away

Studio 54 Dance Event Coming Oct. 27, Benefitting Blessings in a Backpack

Writer  /  Shannon Siders

Boogie down for a good cause on Friday, October 27, as the Jeffersontown Community Center transforms into Studio 54 for the night. The fundraiser benefits Blessings in a Backpack, a charity organization that aims to solve the issue of childhood hunger.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and guests are invited to mix and mingle while checking out the silent auction and 50/50 raffle. Some exciting items up for bid include a Trifecta Package from Churchill Downs and a one-of-a-kind Derby hat. There will also be spa packages, sports packages and tickets to local attractions.

The dance floor opens at 8 p.m. with 1970’s-fueled entertainment provided by Jeffersontown-based Sounds Around Towne. They will resurrect funk, R&B and disco hits from the Bee Gees, Gloria Gaynor, KC and The Sunshine Band and many more until the event wraps up at midnight.

Organizers expect a crowd of at least 300 to dance the night away and want attendees to show up in costumes from the Studio 54 era to complete the 1970’s vibe of the event.

“We want everyone to throw on those polyester jumpsuits and bell bottoms,” says Deanna Cox, one of the organizers. “We love Halloween, we love to dress up, and we hope everyone gets into the spirit.”

The catchy tunes and great beats are another bonus of the Studio 54 theme.

“Everyone loves the music from that time, it’s dancing music,” says Cox, whose husband Scott is the DJ for the event. “When you play the ‘Y.M.C.A.’ everyone puts their hands up. It doesn’t matter how old or young you are, everyone knows that song.”

Cox first became involved with Blessings in a Backpack seven years ago through her work with the Kentucky Festival Pageant Association. She connects pageant title winners with local and regional volunteer opportunities to help the girls give back and develop a sense of humbleness.

“It’s more than just about the crown, the title, the cash, it has to be about the servant’s heart,” Cox says. “The girls know when they win a title, even when they’re three or four years old, they must perform community service.”

The pageant group volunteered for Blessings in a Backpack at Engelhard Elementary in downtown Louisville as one of their projects, and kept coming back when they saw the great impact their time had on local children in need.

“If a child is fed, they function better,” Cox says. “To have the ability to give back to make sure every child has something to eat on the weekends so they can concentrate in school is invaluable.”

One in five American children do not have reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food. School-provided meals are sometimes the only guaranteed meal children have for the week. When the school closes its doors on Friday afternoon, many of these children go home to empty cupboards and empty bellies for 65 hours until they return to school on Monday morning.

As a leader in the movement to end childhood hunger, Blessings in a Backpack strives to ensure children don’t go hungry on the weekends by empowering individuals and communities to take action. A donation of just $100 can provide a child with weekend meals for one 38-week school year through Blessings in a Backpack. The organization is a 501(c)(3), and every donated item is considered a tax-deductible gift.

Blessings in a Backpack started with just two schools in 2005. The Louisville-based organization now serves nearly 90,000 students in more than 1,000 schools across 47 states and the District of Columbia. Student surveys conducted after the implementation of the program found that, in addition to easing weekend hunger pains, students benefited by Blessings in a Backpack overwhelmingly said it was easier for them to learn, they did not get in as much trouble, and their attendance improved.

Others involved in the Studio 54 event include Jeri Cross, Shelly King, Tyler Lockhart (photographer), Hollie Moody, Adrianne Morse, Michele Rodriquez, Misty Roller, Kevin Swansey and Andre Wilson (emcee). They all got involved out of a want to provide for less fortunate children in the community.

“We could not imagine not being able to feed our children on the weekends,” said Cox. “And when children are fed physically, they are more attune to their homework and can pay better attention in the classroom.”

Tickets are $20 per person for the 21 and over event, and there will be a cash bar on site. Organizers hope to raise at least $6,000 for the event, which would help fund access to Blessings in a Backpack for around 60 students in need.

For more information, or to buy a ticket for the event, visit guestlist.co/events/470775. Visit blessingsinabackpack.org for more information on the organization or to get involved.

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