Very Beary Brunch Marks Start of Teddi 36
February 13, 2018
On Friday, Feb. 9, St. John Fisher College faculty, staff, and students gathered with representatives from Camp Good Days and Special Times, elected officials, and community members at the Very Beary Brunch to officially mark the start of the 36th annual Teddi Dance for Love.
During the brunch, Dr. Gerard J. Rooney, president of the College; James McCauley from Camp Good Days and Special Times; and Mark Gruba, News 8 anchor and Teddi Honorary Chair, offered remarks.
“To me, the only thing more impressive than the people who organize the Teddi Dance are the people you organize it for - the youngsters at Camp Good Days and their families,” Gruba said. “One week from now, we will do great things at St. John Fisher College. We will dance for 24 hours … and it’s going to be a great day.”
Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo and Allen Williams, director of special projects and educational initiatives for the City of Rochester, spoke and delivered a proclamation, declaring February 11-18, 2018 “Teddi Dance for Love Week” in Monroe County and the City of Rochester. Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley (who was last year’s Honorary Chair) was also in attendance, as well as a host of Fisher and Camp Good Days supporters.
Emily Jeffries ’18 and Allison Smith ’19, chair and vice chair of the 2018 event, presented the Dr. Lou Buttino Faculty/Staff Involvement Award to President Rooney, honoring his commitment and dedication to the Teddi Dance.
“To members of the committee who are here this morning, thank you for the good work that you do every year for Camp and for the special attention you pay to this piece of the College’s story,” said Rooney. “My special thanks to Emily and Allison for their leadership, and to everyone who is here to support Teddi. It means so much to our campus community.”
Jeffries and Smith also honored alumna and Board of Trustees member Jill Knittel ’94, ’03 (MBA) with the Teddietta Award. A past chair of Teddi, Knittel and her husband challenged this year’s committee to raise money by awarding the highest student fundraiser with two $500 airfare vouchers.
In addition, the Teddi Committee formally announced that this year’s dance would be dedicated to Kenneth (Kenny) Bremer, who passed away June 27, 2017 at the age of 36.
Bremer was first introduced to camp at the age of seven while battling illnesses from infantile osteopetrosis. Over time, he served as a counselor and remained active in the Kazoo fundraiser for many years. Bremer often said that camp was the only place he could truly be himself, so Teddi organizers knew it was fitting to dedicate this year’s event in his honor.
Joe Paglia shared a few memories from his time working with Bremer as a counselor at Camp Good Days. Paglia and Bremer worked one-on-one during summer camps, and over time, developed a friendship that spanned two decades.
“Ken was brave and adventurous—he tried everything from boating to baseball to riding the hot air balloon,” said Paglia. “He had an incredible drive for life and never let his disabilities become obstacles he couldn’t overcome.”
Nearly 500 dancers—including students, alumni, faculty, and staff—will participate in the fundraiser, scheduled from 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 16 through 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 17. At the dance, students donating hair to the Pantene Beautiful Lengths campaign will participate in a before and after reveal. On Saturday afternoon, families from Camp Good Days will visit the fundraiser to help cheer on the dancers and enjoy a carnival.
To register for the dance in advance, visit Teddi’s website (teddi.sjfc.edu). A $50 donation is requested for dancers interested in participating for the full 24 hours; the suggested donation for the mini eight-hour marathon, held from noon to 8 p.m. on Saturday, is $35.