Dreams Come True
The Andréa Rizzo Foundation is grateful to those at Dancing With the Stars, The Garden of Dreams Foundation (Madison Square Garden Entertainment), Radio City Music Hall, celebrities such as Carrie Ann Inaba and Jane Seymour and.dancewear companies Capezio and Grishko. Read how they have each helped us to make DREAMS COME TRUE for special children. The Andréa Rizzo Foundation will continue to seek ways to bring smiles to the faces of fragile children and added joy to their hearts. We are proud and excited to make Dréa’s Dreams Come True an ongoing initiative. If you know of generous donors who would like to help us to brighten pediatric cancer patients’ lives, please have them contact us at DreasDream@aol.com. April 12, 2010
DANCING WITH THE STARS – A "dream come true"
The Andréa Rizzo Foundation was honored to be able to escort a patient from Childrens Hospital Los Angeles to Dancing With the Stars. Amanda was thrilled to have front row seats and to get to meet judge Carrie Ann Inaba after the show and then go backstage for a photo op with some of the dancers. The Andréa Rizzo Foundation is grateful to Dancing With the Stars for offering a gift that is a “dream come true” for a young person who is truly deserving. December 2008
RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL – A Christmas Story
On December 15, 2008, The Andréa Rizzo Foundation escorted a pediatric patient who has been participating in Dréa's Dream at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, NYC to the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular. Patient, Luke, was joined by his Mom and twin brother. Madison Square Garden Entertainment gave us this generous gift of orchestra seats for the whole family. The incredible VIP treatment that Radio City Music Hall, General Manager, Richard Claffey gave to this special family was filled to the brim and overflowing with kindness. Of course the show was SPECTACULAR…but Mr. Claffey and his staff made sure that a treasured memory was created for Luke that he will remember for a long, long time. They were met at the stage door with their tickets all set to go. Between feeding the camels backstage and then meeting some "real live" Rockettes, it was a magical event not to be believed. The boys actually got to go straight to Santa's dressing room and Santa somehow already knew their names and what they had done all year!! Mr. Claffey had goodie bags for them filled with baseball caps and tshirts and it sounds like he would have offered them the world if he could have. The best part was (and I'm sure this was a tough one for Santa) when Luke asked if he could have a f ew minutes alone with Santa to tell him what he really wanted for Christmas. Everyone left the room so that Luke could tell him just what he wanted most. Santa needed a box of tissues afterward. He also made a point to tell Luke that, most importantly…he must BELIEVE. More goodness has been added to the story from the hearts of those at Radio City Music Hall. (I've come to believe that Radio City must require that only those with HUGE HEARTS can work there!!) Santa was so touched by his meeting with Luke that he also gave look a "surprise phone call" on Christmas Eve. And when Santa told the Production Manager that Luke really liked the Hannah Montana microphone that he saw back stage (apparently….a real mic and not a toy)….well…..somehow these generous folks made sure that the microphone was delivered to Luke's house for Christmas. Thank God for people like Richard Claffey, who know exactly what it takes to brighten the life of one child and his family. Thank God for MSG Entertainment for this generous and thoughtful gift. We know that this memory outshone all others for Luke this Christmas. And, best of all, the family got a call from the doctors at Memorial Sloan-Kettering on Christmas Eve telling them that Luke’s PET Scan was clear! A Christmas miracle. November 2008
CARRIE ANN INABA – Dancing With the Stars
In November, 2008, Dréa's Dream, a pediatric dance therapy program for children with cancer, funded by The Andréa Rizzo Foundation, "kicked off" at Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA with the added excitement of an appearance and participation by Carrie Ann Inaba. This event marks the beginning of an ongoing dance therapy program for the young patients at Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA. The famed show Dancing With the Stars has been the inspiration behind this gift of dance. After escorting pediatric cancer patients to Season V and Season VI with donated VIP tickets and VIP treatment from the staff at Dancing With the Stars, we have felt inspired by their generosity and compelled to give back to the Los Angeles community. Their gift has been a “dream come true” for fragile patients. We thought that the perfect way to say "thank you" would be to provide the gift of dance therapy to children with cancer in Los Angeles. Carrie Ann Inaba believes strongly in the healing effects of dance therapy and has generously offered her support for this cause. She attended the "kick-off" and participated in this very first dance therapy session, bringing added smiles and excitement to the children and families at Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA! We are so very excited to see this program come to fruition and filled with gratitude for Carrie Ann Inaba's support and Dancing With the Stars generosity. The Andréa Rizzo Foundation then escorted a Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA patient to Dancing With the Stars, Season VII. Breanna Pflaumer of California participated in the “kick off” of Dréa’s Dream at Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA and then was treated to VIP seats right next to Carrie Ann at the show just a few days later. Breanna was given bracelets from the cosutme designers, a Dancing With the Stars TShirt. To top it all off, Carrie Ann Inaba escorted Breanna down the press line as Breanna told her story and let the press (ABC News, Access Hollywood, Entertainment Tonight and People magazine, etc.) know of her experience with Dréa’s Dream at Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA. A dream come true for Breanna Pflaumer!! May 2008
GRISHKO DANCE WEAR BRINGS SMILES
When Ashley Earle of Grishko Dancewear heard about our upcoming fundraising event, heart&feet, she wanted to support our mission in some way. She thought of the children at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and decided that a perfect gift to the Foundation would be to provide ballet slippers for all those little dancing feet. Dozens of ballet slippers arrived at MSKCC and were greeted by many young smiling faces. We are so grateful for Grishko’s support. May 2008
ASHLEY AUDET: A True Winner
As the 1st place winner of The Andréa Rizzo Foundation’s “Dance Across America” fundraising initiative, Ashley Audet, a teen from Perth Amboy, NJ raised over $3,000 in pledges. winning the Grand Prize of 2 VIP tickets to Dancing With the Stars in Los Angeles, CA. But Ashley's compassion has no boundaries. When she recently met Casey Stover of Fairless, PA at a dance competition and learned of her medical struggles (7 operations in the past year), Ashley was touched by Casey's courage. When Ashley told Casey about her goal to win the Dance Across America VIP tickets to Dancing With the Stars, Casey's face lit up! At that moment, Ashley knew that the VIP tickets belonged in Casey's hands. In May 2008, Ashley Audet presented her VIP tickets to an ecstatic Casey Stover. This remarkable teenager has made a dream come true. Casey attended the May 5th live broadcast of Dancing with the Stars along with her mom, Linda. She was treated to a backstage “photo op” with all of the dancers and the stars. This was a night that Casey will never forget. May 2008
Chistie Artinger at Capezio offered to lend a helping hand as we sought support for our upcoming fundraising event, heart&feet. Not only has Capezio donated raffle items for the event, but Christie knew that the little tutus that Capezio provided in the past were a huge hit with our little dancers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. So another delivery of beautiful tutus arrived at MSKCC to brighten the lives of many young patients. Many thanks to Capezio for their ongoing generosity. November 2007
DANCING WITH THE STARS
In November 2007, The Andréa Rizzo Foundation was presented four VIP passes to the famed TV show Dancing with the Stars. The show’s producers understood the impact of dance therapy on fragile children and wanted to show their support for the Foundation’s mission by offering show tickets for a future Foundation fundraiser. But Foundation President, Susan Rizzo Vincent had a different idea in mind ~ to brighten the life of a young pediatric cancer patient and make a dream come true. Julie Reed was 16 years old when she was diagnosed with a rare sarcoma of the liver. She underwent intense chemotherapy, leaving her tired and sick in bed most of the time. As an active young dancer, she found it hard to cope with not being able to move as she once did. During one of Julie’s in-patient stays at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), she was introduced to Dréa’s Dream, the pediatric dance/movement therapy program established by The Andréa Rizzo Foundation and coaxed into trying a dance therapy session conducted by the program’s dance therapists. “Even when I couldn’t get out of bed, these wonderful therapists were able to transport me out of the hospital, into the sky, the ocean, a sandy beach, wherever my fancy would take me that day,” Julie wrote in a letter. The sessions allowed Julie to express how she was feeling through the movement of dance. Upon receiving the VIP passes to Dancing with the Stars, Foundation members immediately thought of Julie Reed. They knew that Julie had found incredible strength during her challenge with cancer through dance therapy. Julie was surprised with a trip to glamorous Hollywood, complete with airfare and hotel accommodations and a chance to see a live airing of the popular TV dancing show. The trip, a dream come true for Julie, was made possible by the generosity of many including donations from Foundation supporters and The Farmer’s Daughter Hotel who provided accommodations. Jane Seymour, actress, accomplished painter and Dancing with the Stars contestant also joined the team effort by donating a painting from her “Healing Hearts” collection to the Andréa Rizzo Foundation to auction and raise funds for Julie and her mom, Julie’s airfare.