Come dance for a good cause at the 2nd Annual Dance for Drew benefit concert, Friday, Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. at Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks (99 Rolling Oaks Dr.). All funds raised will go towards the Drew Perez Scholarship Fund benefiting local students, high schools and Rotary Club of Newbury Park charitable causes.
The evening was created in memory of Drew Perez (son of a local Los Angeles City Fire Captain Ed Perez), age 17 and a senior at Thousand Oaks High School, who lost his battle with cancer in 2013. The money raised will enable teens to achieve their dreams and support those in need.
“Dance for Drew is a way to remember and honor an amazing son and brother,” said Ed Perez. “Drew was a completely loving and companionate human being. It’s also a way for us to give back to the community that Drew loved so much.”
The idea for Dance for Drew came out of Ed Perez’ participation with The Compassionate Friends, a worldwide support group for parents and siblings who have lost their loved ones. “I went to its conference and came away knowing I wanted to do something for Drew and then was connected with the Rotary Club of Newbury Park,” he said. “One of Drew’s favorite shows was ‘Dancing with the Stars’ so the idea for the fundraiser came from that.”
As a result of Drew’s illness, Drew’s sister, Sydney, earned her Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) certificate and is on her way to becoming a nurse. “We had spent 200 nights at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles,” she said. “We went back to the hospital on August 5, Drew’s birthday, to thank the staff and nurses for all their wonderful care.”
When they learned Sydney had her CNA certificate, they offered her a job. She now works in the oncology unit where Drew received treatment. She says she feels her brother’s spirit there.
“The funds collected last year were used to provide scholarships for local students at Thousand Oaks and Newbury Park high schools as well as to support Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Our Community House of Hope and cancer family support groups,” said Ilan Migdali, Rotary Club of Newbury Park member and a Dance for Drew organizer. “We invite everyone to come and dance with us to honor the inspirational life of Drew Perez and join us in raising funds for needed programs in our community and the world.”
The evening will feature dance music from classic and pop rock band Full House, food, drinks, a raffle and a silent auction. Tickets: adults 21 and over: $25, under 21, $15. For more information or to purchase tickets, go to www.DanceForDrew.com or call Erin Culbertson at 805-822-2282. On Facebook: www.facebook.com/DanceForDrew.