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Kelly’s Fine Arts dance students in Pee Dee raise $6,000 for charity

January 28, 2019

FLORENCE, S.C. – Kelley’s Fine Arts (KFA) raised $6,000 for the McLeod HOPE Fund during the 2019 Sneak Peak show on Saturday afternoon.

KFA held two shows, one at 2 p.m. and another at 5 p.m., that showcased dancers from all KFA locations from across the Pee Dee. This year, dancers raised money to earn the title Mr. or Miss Sneak Peak, which went to the boy or girl who raised the most money individually.

Olivia Plack, who was crowned Miss Sneak Peak, got to present the check to Lauren Snipes, the McLeod HOPE Fund coordinator.

The money from ticket sales went directly to the general fund, and the money individual dancers raised went toward providing cancer patients with wigs or head coverings during chemotherapy, KFA founder and owner Burnadene Kelley-Newman said.

Newman said the group decided to donate funds to the McLeod Hope Fund this year because all of the dancers have had some kind of relation to someone who has had had cancer at some point and Newman also had breast cancer last year.

“Because of the effect on the dancers with me having it, we took a vote from the advanced dancers, and it was almost unanimous that they wanted to do cancer,” Newman said.

KFA celebrates its 30th year as a dance studio this year, and Newman said this year’s show is extra special.

The 2019 Sneak Peak show includes a tribute to a childhood memory. The opening number, “Droppin’ Rhymes,” featured a shoe as a prop that her husband, Sid Newman, built for the show because as a child, Newman’s mother always spoke nursery rhymes to her.

She said she would always tell her mother she wanted 100 “chirrins,” the way she said children as a child, just like “The Old Woman in The Shoe.” Newman said she got her wish of having 100 children through all of the children she has taught over the years and currently teaches.

Newman had the idea of having the nursery-themed dance for a while, but she kept pushing it off until this year when she decided to do it for KFA’s 30th birthday.

The Sneak Peak show serves as a practice for the competition, and a way to raise money for charities within the community. Each year, KFA raises money for a different charity.

“I need to do my part with teaching these kids to give back and realize that that not everyone is as fortunate as them and they need to step in” Newman said.

It started when the new Lake City Library was being built and it needed funds for books. The library decided to put on a concert to help raise money for books.

“ We don’t want to do it for just no reason,” Newman said. “We want to do it and do something for the community while we’re doing it.”

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