South Campus Dance to Stage Cancer Benefit Concert

%28From+left%29+PAC+dancers+Bethany+Garcia%2C+Cindy+Gil%2C+Kelsey+McLarty%2C+and+Gabriela+Rosales+perform+%27Hold+On%2C+Weight+for+Me%27+choreographed+by+Laura+Harrell+in+this+November+2014+photo.+The+troupe+will+host+Artists+for+Hope+Oct.+17.

Photo Credit: Jennifer Salter

(From left) PAC dancers Bethany Garcia, Cindy Gil, Kelsey McLarty, and Gabriela Rosales perform ‘Hold On, Weight for Me’ choreographed by Laura Harrell in this November 2014 photo. The troupe will host Artists for Hope Oct. 17.

Program coordinator Jamie Williams never imagined when she took over the dance program at San Jacinto College South Campus in the Fall of 2014, a student would move her to put on a show that hits close to home for so many.

Williams said her inspiration came when a dance student came to her for guidance about her mother’s struggle with cancer. Williams could relate because she had recently lost her own mother to the same disease. A couple of months after their initial discussion, the student approached Williams with the idea of a benefit concert; thus, Artists for Hope was created.

According to www.cancer.org, the disease “accounts for about one in every seven deaths worldwide.”

Those statistics represent “… our mothers, our fathers, our siblings, our cousins, our grandparents, our aunts and uncles, our friends, and ourselves,” Williams said. “As the human race, we are all impacted. We are all united in experiencing the agony, fear, and grief that cancer brings.”

While organizing the fundraiser, Williams discovered many artists wanted to help make a difference. In addition to South campus’s Performing Arts Company (PAC), participating dance companies include Ad Deum Dance Company, Aimed Dance, Flight Dance Company, Frame Dance Productions, Fuzion Contemporary Dance Company, Hope Stone Dance, JDF Elite Competitive Dance Company, and Open Dance Project.

Likewise, students and faculty members from the campus’s art department and art club are helping raise funds by selling their artwork and donating the proceeds to the same effort.

Furthermore, Williams said the benefit aims to reach a goal of 5,000 dollars through ticket sales, art sales, and donations. The funds raised from the event will go to the Cancer Research Institute (CRI).

Williams said the organization appealed to her because of the advancements it made in immunotherapy, a new type of cancer treatment.

“Through clinical trials, CRI is able to offer new and life-saving treatments, and may represent the greatest hope for patients currently facing all kinds of cancer,” she said.

Williams said she wishes Artists for Hope will become a yearly event. She added, “If I can offer something to this community that inspires hope, and gives someone else a chance to fight, then it’s all worth it.”

Artists for Hope will be performed Oct. 17 at 7:30 p.m. at the Flickinger Fine Arts Center on the South campus. Tickets are available at www.eventbrite.com/e/artists-for-hope-tickets.