Dancing for a Cause gives back to those in need

Dancing for a Cause is back after COVID-19 postponed the Arc of East Ascension fundraiser for two years.
Published: May. 15, 2022 at 4:43 PM CDT|Updated: May. 15, 2022 at 10:34 PM CDT

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Dancing for a Cause is back after COVID-19 postponed the fundraiser for two years.

For the past eight years, Rowena Marcel has been bringing her daughter to the Arc of East Ascension. For Mailin, it’s her favorite place to be.

“She’s had the opportunity to make a lot of little friends. They adore her and call her ‘Little Mama,’” said Marcel.

Mailin is about to celebrate her 36th birthday. Throughout her life, she has overcome many obstacles. Mailin has a chromosome disorder that affects her speech and bladder. She is also autistic.

“We adopted her when she was five months old. We brought her home. She stayed almost a whole year in and out of the hospital at Children’s Hospital. She was severe asthmatic, she outgrew that. They never thought she would ever walk,” explained Marcel.

Despite all of the setbacks, Mailin has been able to do more with her life through the Arc of East Ascension. She has the opportunity to work, learn new things and meet new people.

Kathy Vizzini and her sister, Dee Comeaux, say the Arc is extremely beneficial for them as well.

“They plan and organize it, and everyone is involved. It’s much more than really you could do just one on one,” said Vizzini

“So our daily operations include programs that allow adults to come get work training and dependence skill training, as well as services that provide care for people in the homes. Especially, people who have 24-hour care around the clock,” explained Raven LaBiche, executive director of Arc of East Ascension.

However, in order to provide for those with disabilities, funding is needed.

For the past two years, Arc of East Ascension has not been able to put on its annual fundraiser, Dancing for a Cause.

Dancing for a Cause is back after COVID-19 postponed the fundraiser for two years
Dancing for a Cause is back after COVID-19 postponed the fundraiser for two years(The Arc of East Ascension)

Event coordinator Sharon Morris explained, “Well, this year is very special because we haven’t been able to have the event due to COVID-19. We had to postpone the event for two year, so we are really excited about getting the event back on the map.”

Dancing for a Cause will showcase nine star dancers from the capital region dancing with professional dancers. It’s a friendly competition to see who can raise the most money to give back to an organization that goes above and beyond to care for others like Mailin and Dee.

“It’s really important that we focus on what’s the real part of this event, it is about the fundraising. Dancing for a Cause has something attached to it that means something very special to us,” added Morris.

Dancing for a Cause will be on July 9. WAFB’s Tisha Powell will be one of the star dancers. Elizabeth Vowell and Greg Meriwether will be the emcees.

Anyone interested in donating or going to the event can visit the Arc of East Ascension’s website.

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