Dance for a Wish, a 501 ( c ) 3 organization in Port Orchard, Washington will have their 7th annual fundraiser this Saturday, March 31, 2012 from 7 pm to midnight at the Baymont Inn and Suites located at 5640 Kitsap Way Bremerton, WA 98312. It will be an evening of fun, food, and dancing. Heavy appetizers will be served and it will be a “no host bar.” A few of the silent auction items include: various gift certificates, gift baskets, and jewelry to unique items such as: a custom handmade hunting knife, dog chiropractic exam, and a Ruger 7 mm hunting rifle. A live auction will also take place. Tickets are $35 a person and can be purchased at the door or online at: danceforawish.org. There is no dress code however; it is a “Western Affair” so rodeo attire would be appropriate.
Bernie Golbeck, Chairman for Dance for a Wish, explained the history of the organization, “Dance for a wish started seven years ago. We have a small and local rodeo community in the Kitsap area. We had a friend in the rodeo community whose sister had breast cancer. We decided to have a fundraiser and had money left over from the fundraiser, that we donated to other charities.
Aside from donating to local high school scholarships, we have four other main charities that we donate for: 1. The Fisher House is a nationwide organization at Joint Base Lewis Mc Chord, that is like a bed and breakfast where family members of wounded soldiers can come and stay two blocks from the Madigan hospital where the soldiers are being treated. During the Christmas season, we bring a truckload of toys for the kids of these soldiers and they also receive a visit from Santa and they celebrate. 2. In Gig Harbor there is Camp Agape, a cancer camp for kids in which we donate. Kids with cancer and their family can come for a week and there are caretakers that can take care of everybody. It’s like a vacation and summer camp. They have a chance not to worry about cancer and can go boating, fishing, and more than anything, have relaxation. 3. Corey’s Day on the Farm, an annual event at the Kitsap Fairgrounds for special needs children. Every year, two days after Mother’s Day at the Kitsap Fairgrounds, we see over 1100 special needs kids and their caretakers. We have been doing this every year for decades. The kids come in and get pictures taken in cow girl and cow boy outfits, ride horses, have lunch, there’s a petting farm, and hay ride (tractor that pulls a tractor full of hay). 4. We take care of local families in crisis. We had a family whose house burned down and the next day they were leaving for a rodeo and were able to give them a check. It doesn’t take much to find out about these families, we hear about it in news and knock on their door and can help them financially. Everybody that works for Dance for a Wish is 100% volunteer work and nobody gets paid.”
Bernie shared what he thought of the fundraiser, “Aside from it being so much fun, it’s an important the charity that we are able to support. When we send out the checks to groups, they’re so grateful during these hard times. Our rodeo community is so generous; even in these hard economic times it says a lot about the community.” When asked what he looked forward to most with the fundraiser, Bernie replied, “Getting the chance to see everybody in one place at the same time without the dust from all the horses. Usually everybody runs into each other at the rodeo circuits or barrel racing. There are quite a few people that are high level competitors that actually have national standings with rodeo and barrel racing (both committee as well as the people that attend).”
Bernie revealed what many people may not know about the fundraiser, “We hope it has become a synonym here, where people every year won’t miss the Dance for a Wish fundraiser. The first five years we had the fundraiser at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds. We decided to take another location last year and this is our first year at the Baymont Inn and Suites in Bremerton.
People can buy tickets at door as they come in or at the website: danceforawish.org. Aside from donating or purchasing your ticket online, you can be a sponsor.”
When asked who Bernie recommended attend the fundraiser, Bernie replied, “Even though it’s a western affair, you saw on the billboard that anybody is welcome. Obviously, the Fisher House is a military organization, but you don’t have to be a cowboy to help a soldier. We do get people that have nothing to do with horses or rodeos and it’s a fun evening for anyone. The rodeo community is a friendly group…not cliques they welcome everyone with open arms to the event.” Bernie even recommends family and friends to the fundraiser, “Because it’s such a family and friendly atmosphere to start with and the cause. It’s a good time for the whole family. [Preferably no children].”
Since there are no reservations required to attend the fundraiser, Bernie concluded, “The more the merrier.”
By: Carly Calabrese, staff for Tacoma.com