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Step-By-Step Dance Studio has been located in the Newton/Waltham area for 19 years and offers a variety of dance styles to over 200 students of all ages. I feel very strongly that the winter season is a time for giving to those less fortunate than ourselves and for helping people in need.  I am especially proud that my students share my feelings and they are dancing this winter to make a difference in the lives of fragile children.   My dancers and teachers have volunteered many hours of their time performing at assisted living centers and nursing homes in the area.  We have also put on a fabulous Benefit Show for the past 9 years to raise several thousands of dollars for local charities or families in need. This year, all of our fundraising proceeds will benefit Autism Alliance of MetroWest, a Program of Advocates, Inc.

Our studio decided to fundraise for Autism Alliance of MetroWest after meeting Michael and Sandra Anastasi of Framingham, MA.  The Anastasi’s have three children, two on the autism spectrum; Jenna (10) and Michael (8). Jenna has been diagnosed with Rett Syndrome.  She is non-verbal and just began to learn how to walk two years ago. Their son Michael is autistic. Their story touched our hearts on so many levels we asked the Anastasi family what we could do to help build awareness for Autism. The Autism Alliance of MetroWest helps provide grant funding to as many families in the local area to assist with their vital needs. Their program helped the Anastasi family to understand that they are not alone as well as provided family programming so that their kids can safely play and explore the environment with no worries of judgment that their children are “different”.  To learn more about the Autism Alliance of MetroWest, please visit www.autismalliance.org.

Autism Alliance of MetroWest, a Program of Advocates, Inc. is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization (Tax ID# 23-7451423).  The Autism Alliance of MetroWest mission is to provide families with information, education, support and programs that will make a difference in their daily lives. They are a grassroots organization that believes in answering each and every phone call and supporting families with the challenges that they face on a daily basis. Autism Alliance of MetroWest began twenty years ago when five parents decided to meet in a church basement and pooled their resources together collaboratively to help other families who had children diagnosed with Autism.  Twenty years later the founder Nannette Ohman has grown that small group of five families to a mailing list of one thousand families who have a child or children on the Autism Spectrum.

Autism Alliance of MetroWest provides vacation programs, specifically designed to meet the needs of their families. For most families with children on the autism spectrum in order to participate, they must have a small group or private setting. They facilitate a specialized “Sunday Open Gym” program that runs each year from December through March. The gym has six specialized suspended swings and a variety of other sensory based equipment to help children receive the vestibular movement that their nervous systems require to feel more calm and organized.  This program is highly attended and gives parents a much needed way to help their children to “feel better” during the winter months. One of the most difficult areas for families raising children with Autism is the need for respite support. Respite is when a family is able to take time away from the care of the child with Autism. Often times children with Autism require one to one supervision for safety, communication and social challenges. Children with Autism require “routine” and “predictability” and this is often part of the primary caretaker’s role.  Respite is not covered by the school, insurance or even the State for hundreds of families.

On Saturday, January 24th our studio dancers will be hosting our Winter Gala Benefit “Mystique” to be held at the American Legion Post 440, 295 California St, Newton.  We have planned an exciting evening consisting of dance performances by our SBS dancers and special guests. In addition to our main fundraiser, our dancers will host a variety of additional late fall/winter drives in an effort to raise more money for the Autism Alliance of MetroWest. I am hoping that families and our local business community will work together to bring some happiness to the lives of these local families. 

Not all donations need to be monetary.  We will raise funds by holding a raffle at our benefit gala as well as private auctions.  In the past, people have won fabulous gifts (and services too!) all of which were donated by local businesses.  All of us at Step-By-Step, including our family and friends, are strongly committed to making this fundraiser a success and we have set a goal to raise $20,000.00. Contribution Form and Step By Step Letter

All sponsors will be acknowledged in our Winter Gala Program for their generosity and support. If you would like more information about our fundraiser or would like to purchase tickets please call our office at 781-891-5678, or e-mail us at office@stepbystepinc.com.  Thank you in advance for your support.

Sincerely,

Pamela C. Caira

Artistic Director, Step-By-Step, Inc.

  •  www.autismalliance.org                                                                                                     Helping families in our local area with children on the Autism Spectrum
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