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Inspiring Duos: Mother-Daughter Teams Making a Difference

Dance for the Cure owes much of its success to the volunteers who selflessly give their time to make a difference in the community. Many of these volunteers are mothers and daughters who have found that working together for a cause brings them even closer. As we approach Mother's Day, we would like to highlight some of these remarkable pairs and their contributions to Dance for the Cure.


Debbie Melick and Tara Baldwin have been volunteering with Dance for the Cure since the beginning. Tara was one of the "I Believe" dancers at Kathleen Academy of Dance, and Debbie naturally became a volunteer after witnessing the organization's positive impact. They have remained involved over the years and feel rewarded by the organization's growth and success. According to Tara, "It is incredibly rewarding to be surrounded by so many creative and philanthropic individuals while seeing the impact of our efforts firsthand. The event, and the organization, have grown tremendously since 2006 and it has been amazing to be a small part of its success- especially to be able to do it with my mom!"

Barbara Gagliardi and Victoria Gagliardi-Rossi started volunteering together, distributing information pamphlets, and hanging pink ribbons on storefronts for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Their shared efforts not only benefit the community, but also allow them to spend quality time together.

Teresa Foti began volunteering with Dance for the Cure in 2018 alongside her daughter, Rosalinda Giles, who was honored as a donee and volunteer at Ribbons of Hope 2018. Teresa explains, “We fell in love with the organization and its great cause so much that we wanted to pay it forward. Although my daughter is no longer with us, I continue to volunteer in her memory.” Rose and Giuliana Opalenik were inspired to volunteer for Dance for the Cure after attending Ribbons of Hope 2021 in support of Rosalinda Giles, Rose's niece. Giuliana has since been writing for Dance for the Cure's blog, and Rose has also recently joined as an official volunteer in efforts to continue Rosalinda’s legacy. They were able to work together to set up Basket Central this past summer and are looking forward to future volunteer opportunities.

Brooke and Brielle Herbst share a passion for Dance for the Cure. Brooke is a breast cancer survivor and is dedicated to the organization, which has become a family affair. According to Brooke, "Volunteering offers many positive benefits and with families’ schedules being so busy, doing charitable work together allows for spending quality family time while supporting your community. Sharing your passion and giving back to the community can provide a sense of purpose and boost self-esteem." Brielle appreciates the opportunity to work with her mother and learn about the importance of giving back. She expressed her gratitude, saying, "Thank you Dance for the Cure."

Lory and Danielle Hughes have always been close, and volunteering for Dance for the Cure has given them one more thing to do together. Danielle started volunteering first and encouraged her mom to get involved. Lory now helps with everything from making baskets to Tie the Town Pink, and even got her husband involved. As Danielle puts it, "I basically made my mom volunteer. She is now a full-time Basket Genie, helps us Tie the Town Pink, and even did the Pink Bow Project."

Maggie and Cassie Krick are another dedicated mother-daughter pair involved with Dance for the Cure. Cassie, who first joined as a dancer, says, "From the moment I put on the costume, my mom was just as committed as I am. We love working together and helping out whenever we can." Maggie emphasizes the organization's impact, stating, "In a frightening world full of unknowns, Dance for the Cure continues to financially and emotionally support women battling breast cancer all year round."

Joanne Liscovitz, co-founder of Dance for the Cure, started the organization in 1999 with Kathleen Cirioli. Her daughter, Meredith Mian, was a member of the original Dance for the Cure group that performed "I Believe," an inspirational lyrical routine, as part of the organization's community outreach events. Meredith has continued to support the organization, helping with everything from setting up Basket Central to working all day and night at Ribbons of Hope. Joanne states, "I am so happy to have her to share this important work with me!"

Rosa and Julia Sauers volunteer together for Dance for the Cure's Pink Bow Project every October, during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. They hang up pink bows on the doors and windows of local businesses, raising awareness for the organization. Julia shares, "It remains one of my favorite mother-daughter traditions and I’m incredibly grateful for the time spent together. Through these moments I am constantly reminded of what a wonderful woman my mother is." Rosa adds, "We both feel that helping our community is extremely important. Plus, I get to spend time with my beautiful daughter while raising awareness for Dance For The Cure."

Volunteer Renee Nicolay, daughter of volunteer Marie Capolunghi, shares some encouragement by stating, "Advice to others looking to do charitable work together like Dance for the Cure would be to just do it. Doing things with your family makes these events that much more meaningful, especially if it’s a charity near and dear to your hearts. Two helping hands are better than one, especially the hands of someone you love."

The dedication and hard work of these mother-daughter teams who volunteer for Dance for the Cure are a reminder of the importance of giving back to our community. By working together for a cause they believe in, these teams are not only making a positive impact on the lives of those affected by breast cancer, but also strengthening their bonds with each other. Their selflessness and commitment to a greater good are truly inspiring and serve as a testament to the power of love and compassion.


Are you interested in volunteering?

Visit our Volunteers page to see our great team!

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