Etcetera - 03/16/12

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Surpassing all of its goals, Kappa Alpha Theta sorority at Whitman College raised $8,078 for the local Court Appointed Special Advocates program, said event coordinator Rachel Tougher in a release.

CASA trains volunteers to advocate for abused and neglected children in the court system who do not have voices. "They provide vital support to make sure children do not get lost in the overburdened legal and social service system, or languish in an inappropriate group or foster home," Rachel said. "Independent research has shown that children with a CASA volunteer are substantially less likely to spend time in longterm foster care and less likely to reenter care," Rachel said.

A senior this year at Whitman and Kappa Alpha Theta member, Rachel oversaw the fundraising Walla Walla's Best Dance Crew event on March 2 at Cordiner Hall.

Dancers from Whitman and the community competed for the grand prize title of "Walla Walla's Best Dance Crew," ultimately garnered by Step One, a hip hop dance group comprised of Whitman and community dancers.

"It was the sorority's first fundraiser open to the community and it exceeded all expectations," Rachel said.

Competitors included Tap That, Dance Divas, Chipolopolo, The Dance Center, Generation EZBake, Soul Felons/breakTUFF, RiverRince, Indigo Girls, Step One, Walla Walla Dance Company and Whitman Dance Team.

Their performances made for a great evening, Rachel said. Styles ranged from Irish, tap, ballet, hip hop, jazz and African traditional dancing.

The event sold more than 650 tickets. All the proceeds went directly to CASA. Rachel said they expect to sponsor this event again next year.

"It was a great chance for Whitman students to break the barrier between the college and the community while also coming together to promote a great cause, celebrate dance and come out with fantastic results," Rachel said.

"Dance not only served as great entertainment for the evening but it also is a great way to engage the youth of Walla Walla and inherently connected to our cause of helping volunteers help the youth of this community. This is also the reason why we chose dance as a way to fundraise for our cause."

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at annieeveland@wwub.com or afternoons at 526-8313.

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