Photo: Trinity Health Center Director Irene Wilson (left) and Cristina Kelly of CK Dance Theatre (right) hold the check donated on Friday morning to the healthcare center. (Bob Bakken/DeSoto County News)
When students at an Olive Branch dance studio recently showed friends and family what they had learned in dance or tumbling class this year, they were also helping raise money for a medical ministry.
CK Dance Theatre of Olive Branch for the past 11 years has held a season-ending dance recital and tumbling recital where the dancers and tumblers have put their skills on display. This year’s dance recital was held at the Hernando Performing Arts Center and the tumbling show took place at the Stateline Road campus of Brown Missionary Baptist Church in Southaven. Tickets and proceeds from the two shows are collected and presented to a specific nonprofit.
Friday morning, Cristina and Kristian Kelly of CK Dance Theatre presented Trinity Health Center Director Irene Wilson a check for $10,200. Cristina Kelly said it was the largest amount of money the studio has ever presented from a recital program.
“This is the most we have raised out of all of our shows,” said Kelly. “We are just super excited that we’re back to our pre-pandemic numbers. People are coming out and supporting the community by supporting their kids. They not only bought tickets and we donated that money but they left more donations at the show.”
About 380 students participated in the CK Dance Theatre programs this year.
The dance recital was based on “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” while the tumbling show was titled, “Out of This World.”
“At the end of the year, we always do a recital,” Kelly explained. “We sell tickets to the show and all of the tickets sold are donated. Every single penny from two different shows and this is all of the ticket sales combined.”
Wilson said the money will help Trinity Health Center, located in the DeSoto County Dream Center in Horn Lake, provide healthcare to the working uninsured. But she added funds will also allow the center to continue to provide free healthcare to women of the Warriors Center, a long term recovery program for women that are battling homelessness, addiction, domestic abuse or other life controlling problems.
Wilson said women housed there can require treatment that may have them going to the emergency room. Trinity Health Center was about to ask for some funding to help cover costs, but the money from CK Dance Theatre can now help them provide free healthcare to the center a bit longer.
“What a great blessing,” Wilson said. “We can’t thank them enough for their generosity. It will serve all of our patients.”
Kelly pointed out that recital donations are offered to put the dance school’s desire to give back to the community into action.
“Giving back to the community is something we believe in and it’s something that we teach our kids,” Kelly said. “We’re a Christian organization so there are Godly values of loving your neighbor and giving back to the community.”