by Lisa Tome
Addiction touches everyone.
That's the message that a group of 10 people from a local dance studio are working to convey. The group is so dedicated that they will tackle a tall building to spread the word.
They are now part of Shatterproof, a national organization committed to protecting children from alcohol and drug addiction.
The 10 team members, most of whom live in western Cecil County, range in age from their 20s to their 60s and include Stephanie Darling, Jen Gerace, Mandy Fager, Julie Campagna, Faron Pyles, Craig Kretzing, Angie Frey, Pam Finn, James Finn, and Kathy Fox.
Shatterproof's goal is to eliminate the stigma of addiction and advocate for legislative changes to help addicts and their families. The organization was founded by a man whose son battled addiction for a decade before the son tragically took his own life.
The commitment is so strong that the group has signed on to participate in the Shatterproof Challenge, an event which will have them rappelling down a multi-story building in Washington, D.C. on May 8. Stephanie Darling helped form the local team. Gerace signed on and then through social media other team members were recruited.
"I did it (signed on for the team) to support my wife. Her family has been touched with addiction. It's pervasive. It's all over the place," said Kretzing.
"For people who think it's not (touched) my life, they haven't recognized it yet," said Darling.
Campagna is the owner of Sundance Studio. She said the fitness that the participants have learned will help with the rappelling aspect of the challenge. She is also concerned for the children who could become addicted.
"These are our kids. We are trying to reach out. If we can get them involved in something like dance (maybe they won't become addicted)," explained Campagna.
The team needs to raise $10,000 ($1,000 per member) in order to participate in the rappelling .
Fundraisers are underway. The first will be held Friday, February 13 which is childcare for a Date Night/Parents' Night Out. The Sundance Shatterproof Team will watch children from 6-9:30 p.m. at Sundance Studio. There will be activities such as dancing, movies, and snack for the children. Cost is $20 per child and $10 for each additional sibling.
On Friday, March 20 and Saturday March 21, Paint and Wine Nights will be held at Sundance Studio. Artist Dan Fager will teach painting. Cost is $45 per person with supplies included. BYOB. RSVP at 443-553-6102. Raffle tickets for a 50/50 will be on sale until April 15. But tickets at Sundance Studio or from team members starting February 6. A quarter auction and 31 fundraiser are also being held.
For more information about the Shatterproof Challenge or the cause online go to www.shatterproof.org.