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Local Dance Group Raises Money for Canine Charity

Edie's Dance Factory donated funds from its recent holiday show to Mickey's Kids for the group's continued work in raising money for Canine Assistants.

Another local group has come through helping Mickey's Kids get another step closer to getting a Canine Assistants dog for a child in need.

Edie Ollwerther of Edie's Dance Factory in Wood-Ridge, and a group of her dancers presented Tom and Michele Meli, the founder's of the Mickey's Kids Foundation with a donation the school raised from it's recent holiday performance.

Mickey's Kids works all year to raise money in order to fund a Canine Assistants dog for a child in need. Canine Assistants, based in Atlanta, Georgia, is a non-profit organization which raises and breeds service dogs which aid children with disabilities. It costs roughly $25,000 to raise and train these dogs and Mickey's Kids works towards the goal of raising enough funds to able them to help one to two area children get a service dog each year.

The most recent recipient of a service dog with the help of Mickey's Kids is a young boy from Westfield who has cerebral palsy. The dogs help children by being able to open doors for them, pick things up,  and just be their best friend. The dogs are also trained to assist children with ellipsy are able to sense when a seizure may be coming on.

The annual Mickey's Kids gala is coming up and Tom Meli the Edie's Dance Troop will be on hand to present their "sizeable and generous" donation to Jennifer Arnold the founder of Canine Assitants in person.

The annual gala "Dancing Under the Stars Act VI" will be held Friday, March 22 at 7 p.m. at Ill Villagio in Carlstadt. The event features professional dancers, singers, full buffet dinner, wine and beer and soda for $125 per seat. All profits from the event are donated to Canine Assistants. For more information contact the Melis at 201-288-1070.

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