Heather’s Dance adds to fundraising effort

amoody@newsobserver.comOctober 19, 2013 

Members of Heather’s Dance perform “The Nutcracker” in 2012. The Knightdale studio is readying its third production of the holiday favorite in December, and a a 5K event on Nov. 2, both to benefit the Raleigh Rescue Mission.

COURTESY OF HEATHER FITTS — COURTESY OF HEATHER FITTS

— Students at Heather’s Dance have put on annual productions of The Nutcracker to raise funds for the Raleigh Rescue Mission since 2011.

This year, the Knightdale-based dance studio plans to hold its third rendition of the holiday favorite and add a 5K event to the mix to benefit the same cause.

Studio owner Heather Fitts was inspired by a book she read about helping those in need and has been an adamant supporter of the downtown Raleigh shelter ever since.

“I am a believer, and my vision is that we all come together as the body of Christ to help those who are in need,” Fitts said. “This organization is very good about helping people re-find themselves and better themselves.

“It’s not a place that just puts a Band-Aid on someone and sends them on their way.”

In past years, Fitts’ students embarked on several small fundraising ventures – including soliciting business donations and selling baked goods – building up to the stage performance. She decided a 5K event would be a better way for her students to feel like they are doing something active for a good cause.

It also gives Fitts an opportunity to promote fitness, another passion of hers, in the community.

“The idea is to share with everyone the importance of fitness while also helping someone else out,” she said.

The 5K event will be held Nov. 2, with a start and finish line at Knightdale Elementary School. Registration will open at 7 a.m. and the 5K race will start at 8 a.m. The planned route passes from Fayetteville Street to Mailman Road, Roberson Street, Kelley Meadows Road, Flowers Street, and back up Fayetteville Street to the school.

A mile run/walk for all ages will begin immediately following the 5K start.

Registration for the 5K race costs $25 prior to the day of the event and $30 on-site. The cost to enter into the one-mile portion of the event is $15. All participants will receive T-shirts.

Registration can be completed online at www.heathersdanceinc.com.

Tickets for this year’s performances of The Nutcracker will go on sale Oct. 26 and cost $10 in advance and $12 at the door. Advance tickets can be purchased at Heather’s Dance, 905 McKnight Drive.

Three performances are planned: Dec. 13 at 7 p.m.; Dec. 14 at 7 p.m.; and Dec. 15 at 3 p.m. All shows will be held in the East Wake High School auditorium.

Micah Geyer, a professional dancer with a company based in Philadelphia and a friend of Fitts, plans to join the local students in the production.

For more information on any of the upcoming events, call Heather’s Dance at 919-266-9900.

Moody: 919-829-4806

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