Record Broken: Teddi Dance Raises Historic $111K for Camp Good Days and Special Times
“We made this the best one yet!” That’s the cheer that erupted in the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Athletic Center as participants of St. John Fisher College’s Teddi Dance for Love learned that they surpassed their goal and raised a record-breaking $111,267.21 to benefit Camp Good Days and Special Times. This is the highest total ever raised in the dance-a-thon’s 38-year history.
Nearly 500 students, alumni, faculty, and staff participated in the 24-hour dance marathon, which was made possible with the help of 240 committee members and volunteers led by Tyler Adams ’20 and vice chair Emily Trotman ’21.
“I am so proud of the hard work and dedication the Teddi 38 committee and captains put forward. Without them, none of this would have been possible,” Adams said. “I can’t thank everyone enough for the constant support and love for such a great tradition and cause. Now, let’s see what Teddi 39 can do!”
Fisher mom AnnMarie Link served as the honorary chair, and made Teddi history as the first honoree to ever spend the full 24 hours with the dancers. She danced side-by-side with her son, Kyle, a junior at Fisher. When Kyle was just a year old, he began a long battle with cancer. All through his treatment, he received support from Camp Good Days. For the Links, being an integral part of the Teddi Dance has brought their journey full circle.
Throughout the night, performances from Fisher groups including Drastic Measures, Irish Dance Club, and the Fisher Players kept the dancers energized and entertained. Musical theme hours, such as Boy Band Hour, Disney Hour, Fun in the Sun Hour, and Diva Hour, kept dancers’ toes tapping through the night.
The committee also collected hair donations to benefit Children With Hair Loss, a nonprofit organization that provides human hair replacements at no cost to children and young adults facing medically-related hair loss. Participants were offered free haircuts and a “before” and “after” reveal on stage for those willing to donate their hair.
One of the more moving moments of Teddi is when the dancing stops to honor an individual close to camp. This year, the dancers honored singer-songwriter Bat McGrath, who passed away from cancer in October 2019. A native of Rochester, McGrath enjoyed a long career in the Nashville music scene, and wrote a special song for Camp Good Days as the organization celebrated its 35th anniversary. A special video made for the song has been played at the Teddi Dance since its creation.
Gary Mervis, founder of Camp Good Days and Special Times, and father of the event’s namesake, Teddi Mervis, also addressed the dancers. “While none of you here tonight had the chance to know Teddi, her spirit and her presence is here,” Mervis told the dancers. “What you’re doing helps us build special memories for special people. Those memories will mean so much to them and to their families for years to come.”