Dancers Against Distracted Driving
The Kelley Fine Arts Dance Company held its annual Sneak Peek Charity Concert at Francis Marion University’s McNair Auditorium on Saturday, Jan. 27. The shows featured 123 dancers and gymnasts from KFA’s Dance Company and Gym Teams performing 95 routines throughout the day.
The concert benefitted the Justin O’Connor Memorial Fund and raised $4,500. Justin was the brother of KFA Company member Ashley O’Connor. He lost his life last July tragically in a car accident, as a result of distracted driving right before his senior year of high school. The fund’s mission is to spread awareness and engage people to think of the serious consequences when driving distracted.
This fund will offer two college scholarships yearly to seniors in the greater Pee Dee who support the mission to end distracted driving. It will also provide more educational resources to educate the youth on the life and death consequences of distracted driving.
Kelley’s Fine Arts held its first Sneak Peek in 2000. The Lake City Library was being built and KFA owner Burnadene Kelley-Newman wanted to help. She produced a concert to show the community and dance parents the company’s competition routines. All the money raised was donated.
The tradition has continued since for a cause directly related to the KFA family. The Sneak Peek has raised money for various charities and causes, including the American Heart Association, Florence County Disabilities, Trisomy 18 Foundation, American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen Foundation, the Kidney Association, Leukemia Society, Pennies for Patients, March of Dimes, Lymphoma Foundation, St. Jude’s Children Hospital, Hospice House, and more.
The competition season doesn’t start until the spring, so some of the dances are still incomplete and need a bit more work. This event is truly just a “Sneak Peek” of their routines. It has turned out to be a great practice for the upcoming competitions and a way to show dancers that they can truly make a difference.
“Miss Burnadene” refers to Sneak Peek as practice with a purpose. It was just that raising over $4,500 for the Justin O’Connor Memorial Fund.