Selden, N.Y. – For the fifth consecutive year, cheerleading and dance teams from East Coast Conference and other Long Island institutions joined together to perform in the ECC’s Spirit Showcase. The event, which raises proceeds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, raised over $3,500 for the foundation.
“Our Fifth Annual Spirit Showcase was our most successful yet,” said ECC Commissioner, Dr. Robert Dranoff. “The young men and women and their coaches truly have to be thanked and commended for taking the time to perform and raise money for Make-A-Wish. I am honored to be part of all the important service activities the ECC and our friends are involved in. There never seems to be a hesitation when it comes to giving back and making a difference.”
Each year the event is kicked off with a former wish recipient provided by the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Suffolk County. This year’s speaker was MarissaAnn, 16, from Long Island.
MarissaAnn spoke about her own experience and gratitude with the Make-A-Wish foundation. At the age of five months old, she was diagnosed with biliary atresia, a rare liver disease. This fatal disease led to a liver transplant, with her father donating half of his liver. Because of this, she was granted her wish to go to Hawaii by the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Now a singer/songwriter, MarissaAnn has been a contestant on the hit show, “The Voice,” and showed off her singing chops to the Spirit Showcase crowd with a stirring rendition of, “The Star Spangled Banner.”
Dranoff stated, “Thanks especially to MarissaAnn for speaking and singing for us and for her family coming by to support her. She is a talented, smart and confident young woman who already has, and will continue to do, great things. We are pleased she was able to be part of this important ECC event. And you could tell by the reaction of the crowd, they were happy to have her with us, too.”
After MarissaAnn spoke and sang, the cheerleaders and dancers took center stage with outstanding performances.
Although focused on participation from member institutions, the East Coast Conference opened the showcase up to local Metro New York squads. Performers included cheerleading squads from Adelphi, Bridgeport, LIU Post, Molloy, New York Institute of Technology, St. John’s, St. Thomas Aquinas as well as dance teams from Adelphi, LIU Post, Molloy, Queens, St. Thomas Aquinas, and Suffolk County Community College. The step team from Molloy also performed.
Through ticket sales, raffles, and concessions, the East Coast Conference raised over $3,500 to donate to the foundation. The event has now raised over $15,000 for Make-A-Wish in its five-year history.
Dranoff wraped up his statements by saying, “Finally, thanks go out to our member schools and also to Suffolk County Community College, St. John’s University, and Adelphi University for participating this year. And, as always, special thanks have to go to SCCC Cheer and Dance Coach, Gina Caputo, who has been part of this effort from the start five years ago. Gina helps make this a special day for all the teams, friends and family members who attend and also for those kids who do benefit from our Make-A-Wish work.