What better way to work toward a healthier community than dancing?
By: Nancy Massani
Looking to dance the night away at Gainesville’s biggest night for salsa? If so, join us for our second annual salsa benefit, Dance for Good! It will take place tonight from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Bank Bar and Lounge in downtown Gainesville.
This event was started in 2016 by Dr. Brendan Williams and Dr. Diana Montoya-Williams to honor their wedding anniversary and their passion for giving back to the community. It serves as a chance to bring the salsa-loving community together in Gainesville for a good cause.
Attendees can participate in activities such as a one-hour salsa lesson from Salsa Mundial, a local Gainesville dance studio. A variety of popular latin music will follow by DJ Ocho from Baila Caliente, a salsa and bachata dance studio. Heavy Hors d’oeuvres will be provided by Omi’s Tavern.
Dance for Good serves as an opportunity to support programs of Children Beyond Our Borders, Inc. Guests will have the chance to participate in a silent auction with items donated by several local businesses including University Air Center, Zen Vibe Yoga, The Spin, Gainesville Health and Fitness, First Magnitude Brewing Company and Mystery Bros. Escape Room.
Carolina De La Rosa, a University of Florida graduate who has been involved with CBOB for several years, attended the event last year and is looking forward to attending again and participating in the salsa class.
“I went to Dance for Good last year and had a great time! The food was delicious and it was great seeing people of all dance levels get on the dance floor and have a good time,” De La Rosa said.
Giving back to the community has always been a priority for Diana and Brendan. They are a part of UF Health and also serve on the Board of Directors for Children Beyond Our Borders, Inc. Their journey with CBOB began a few years ago when they became IAMCBOB sponsors. Becoming sponsors served as an opportunity to fund a scholarship that allows students to fulfill their dreams of pursuing medical careers in Colombia. With the help of scholarships, children are granted opportunities to break free from the cycle of poverty and achieve their dreams.
In exchange, the students act as service leaders in their communities and stay motivated to work to their best and fullest capacity while in school. Sponsoring these children sends a message to them that they matter. It motivates them to become better citizens to their community and work to accomplish their dreams and goals. Today, Diana and Brendan are continuing to execute CBOB’s mission and give back to children and families affected by social injustice through funding local community health initiatives, such as the CWOB Mobile Health Clinics.
“Together we can make Gainesville a stronger community,” De La Rosa said. “This is one step toward doing that.”
Tickets can still be purchased in advance for $25 online at chbob.org/danceforgood until 4 p.m. today and at the door for $30! Reduced prices are available for students and residents. Put your dancing shoes on and see you there!
For more information about the event, visit www.chbob.org/danceforgood or http://www.chbob.org/salud-amor--more-scholarship-fund.html for more about Diana and Brendan’s story.