Fisher Students are “Reddi for Teddi”
On Monday morning, the Teddi Committee hosted the annual Very Beary Brunch, officially kicking off the final countdown to the 41st Annual Teddi Dance for Love at St. John Fisher University.
One of Fisher’s most honored traditions, the 24-hour dance-a-thon raises funds for Camp Good Days and Special Times. The dance begins at 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 17 and concludes at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18, in the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Athletic Center. This year, students hope to raise $130,000 for Camp.
During the brunch, faculty, staff, students, sponsors, elected officials, and Camp Good Days and Special Times representatives joined the Teddi Committee to celebrate and gear up for the main event. Dr. Gerard J. Rooney, Fisher’s president, and Camp Good Days and Special Times Founder, Gary Mervis, offered remarks.
“This year, we celebrate the 75th anniversary of our founding; so it is a special year for us in many ways. For more than half of the life of the institution, the Teddi Dance has been one of our most beloved traditions. It is a tradition that the students look forward to and our alumni remember. It is a tradition that our faculty and staff believe in and support. And it is one that I truly hope remains for many years to come,” said Rooney.
The Teddi Committee also honored and recognized staff members and alumni for their support and encouragement. Jen Granger, assistant athletic director, was given the Dr. Lou Buttino Faculty & Staff Involvement Award; Kate Torok, director of marketing and communications, was named the inaugural recipient of the Paul Klee Award; and alumnae Jordyn Poole and Alyssa Gara were honored with the Teddietta Award.
Each year the Teddi Dance for Love is dedicated to someone who has become near and dear to Camp Good Days. This year, Fisher students will dance in honor of Tilahun “T” Belete Gushish, a camper whose love of life and positive attitude had a lasting impact on everyone who met him. “T” to those who knew him, lost his battle with cancer in late 2022, but his legacy at Camp remains.
A native of Ethiopia, Gushish was in the United States receiving treatment at the Golisano Children’s Hospital when he was introduced to Camp by Dr. David Korones. After COVID, he was able to return to Camp and in fall 2022, he was honored with the Courage Award, given at the annual Courage Bowl Luncheon to a camper who is an example of courage, strength, and determination.
“T has left an amazing legacy at Camp, and his spirit will live on,” said Alyssa Klonowski ’23, chair of the Teddi Committee. “We know that he will be looking down on us as we dance the night away.”
Teddi 41 has more than 175 committee members and more than 200 students have registered to dance. Over the 24-hour fundraiser, dancers will enjoy a number of performances, including Fisher Dance and Irish Dance Club; Jazzercise and Zumba; and a silent disco. From 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, more than 20 campers will arrive for a carnival, complete with games, bounce houses, and more. Sam Carter, weekday morning reporter for 13WHAM ABC and FOX Rochester, will cheer on students as honorary chair.
To register for the dance in advance, visit Teddi’s website (teddi.sjfc.edu). A $50 donation is requested for dancers interested in participating for the full 24 hours; the suggested donation for the mini eight-hour marathon, held from noon to 8 p.m. on Saturday, is $35.