Dancers took the stage at Beyond Dance Studios for its student showcase earlier this spring but gave more than a dance routine. The showcase was not only intended for the audience but also was to benefit a local charity, Grandma’s Love.
Theresa Monforte-Caraballo, founder and executive director of Grandma’s Love, found out only days before the event that it was serving as a fundraiser for her organization. In the cocktail hour prior to the show, Beyond Dance, 8717 Third Avenue, not only served refreshments but also had raffle baskets and a bucket for additional donations.
According to Monforte-Caraballo, the bucket alone raised $2,300 and the winner of the 50/50 raffle donated the money back to Grandma’s Love, which she was incredibly grateful for.
“The show was beautiful; the kids put on such a great show,” Monforte-Caraballo added, “I worked with Lincoln Center in the past, and I can see these children are headed in that direction, just from what I saw that evening.”
Grandma’s Love is a non-profit organization based in Bay Ridge. Originally it started as Blessings in a Backpack, which focused on feeding students for the school year’s 38 weeks. After two years, Monforte-Caraballo eventually formed Grandma’s Love in conjunction with Blessings to help students all year round with food and other supplies for school.
For Monforte-Caraballo and Grandma’s Love, having these necessities improves a child’s physical well-being but also increases his or her psychological, emotional, educational and social state, an imperative part of receiving a decent education.
According to Monforte-Caraballo, recipients are chosen by the school’s social workers/parent coordinators discreetly. The parents are offered the program for their child who is given the food privately.