Valerie Salstrom runs the Cleveland Junior Jitterbugs. A fabulous program supporting the kids in Cleveland who learn how to dance. They are trying to get to events this summer to increase their exposure to dance. If you’re able, take a read through Valerie’s note below and support if you can.
From Valerie Salstrom
This is an ask. I hate asking for money. It doesn’t feel good to ask for money. You feel like “less” when you hold out your hand for money. But, I have to do this for the kids. Ugh, my stomach hurts. I put on a good face that this is great, everything is great. This is actually really difficult for me. Ok, Here we go. Think of the kids, think of the kids.
I wish the arts were valued. I wish swing dancing and it’s African American history was valued. I wish more people realized what being involved in a swing dance program means to children and their families.
In the next few months some of the members of the Cleveland Junior Jitterbugs will be making their way to events around the country to take classes, social dance, perform, compete, hang out with other youth who are involved in the dance scene, meet some of their swing dance heroes, and hear stories about the great ones who have passed. We also have three jitterbug relatives traveling with us as chaperones. (We have lots of little bugs whose ages are in the single digits and we need the extra help.)
These efforts require a pretty hefty chunk of change and we are hoping you can help us finish raising the money we need. Our goal is to raise at least $7500 and we have already raised slightly under $3000.
If you would like to donate and have your donation be tax deductible, the Frankie Manning Foundation has kindly agreed to have your donations go through them. You will need to designate your dollars go to the Cleveland Junior Jitterbugs, the Cleveland Kids, the Cleveland Youth Program, or something similar. You may further specify that your funds go for travel only, food only, travel to a particular event, accommodations at a particular event, costumes, food and beverages while training in Cleveland, etc. What your donations will NOT cover are studio space rental in Cleveland, training fees while in Cleveland, event passes, or transportation or meals for chaperones. The Brooklyn Branch of the Cleveland Public Library has been letting us use their community room for practice sessions for free. I donate my coaching, choreography, and transportation services for the youth during their summers in Cleveland. Uptown Swingout, the International Lindy Hop Championships, and Camp Hollywood have all donated passes for our Cleveland group. Some of these events also provide food and accommodations for our youth participants.
Here is a break down of what is happening –
Alexis and Cyle are going to Uptown Swingout in Minneapolis. MN. August 11-13. Uptown Swingout
Alexis, Cyle, Jermaine, Jonathan, Mario, Mariana, Gabi, and Aniyah are going to the International Lindy Hop Championships near Washington, DC. August 24-27. ILHC
Alexis, Cyle, Jermaine, Mario, Mariana, and Gabi are going to Camp Hollywood/National Jitterbug Championships in Los Angeles, CA. September 1-4. http://www.camphollywood.net/
Think of everything they will need. Flights to Minneapolis. Rental of a 15 passenger van to get to DC. Tolls, gas, and food on the way to and from DC. Flights to LA. Hotel rooms in LA. Meals in LA. Costumes. Shoes. In case you didn’t know, a 9 year old is practically capable of eating their own weight in food each day. The bills for food are enormous for this group. Wanna sponsor a pizza party or two? Can we get a poolside picnic organized at Camp Hollywood?
Please email, firstname.lastname@example.org, or message me here on Facebook for more details on our budget and/or information on how to donate to the Cleveland Junior Jitterbugs through The Frankie Manning Foundation via paypal or check. There are a few things you should know that can help you decide if a check or paypal is better. We can also let you know how to avoid extra fees through paypal.
Frankie Manning Foundation
I would also like to thank Beantown Lindy Hop Camp for continually supporting the Frankie Manning Ambassadors at their camp. Alexis and Cyle have loved every minute of their time spent with you all. Beantown