Christi Thomas Memorial Scholarships Awarded - Dance Unlimited
Another year, another dance recital! Time for more scholarships in Christi's memory! Congratulations to this year's scholarship winners, pictured here with Shayla. (Back left: Nicki, Katie, Taylor. Front left: Shayla with Brooke - $1,000 winner and Rachael) This year's $1,000 winner is Brooke. The other gals were each awarded $250.00. Soon I will post pictures of Shayla's dancing and 2012 recital experience. It was a fabulous weekend! Here is my speech I gave Saturday night to announce the winners! Some of you may remember our little dancer, Christi Thomas. If Christi had lived, she would be 15 now and going into the 11th grade. It was just 12 weeks after her very first dance recital, when she was only five, that she was diagnosed with neuroblastoma – stage IV, the most deadly form of all childhood cancers. For four straight years she fought the evil beast with gallons of chemotherapy, many weeks of radiation treatments, a few big surgeries and experimental drugs too numerous to remember. By the grace of God, she was somehow able to dance in three of the four dance recitals during those 4 years of continual cancer treatments. Just 12 weeks after the curtain closed here at the Ritz, for what turned out to be her last dance recital in 2006, she went to dance on a stage that must be even more beautiful than this gorgeous one here. She was 9. After Christi’s death we determined we would award annual scholarships to deserving young men and woman in Seneca and Sandusky counties as a tribute to Christi, as a way to give back to those who helped us throughout the most difficult and horrific four years of our life, and to keep Christi’s memory alive. One of the scholarships we give each year goes to a Dance Unlimited Senior. Our Scholarship committee consists of six members now. We added a new member this year (Pause and look at Shayla). Shayla smiled and waved, too funny! This year’s scholarship selection team had an incredibly difficult task. I really hate this and wonder if it’s worth it because we cannot give each student a $1,000 check despite the fact every one of them would be a fabulous, well-deserving choice. This is very, very hard and pains me. They are all simply amazing individuals, exactly the kind of women we had hoped Christi would grow up to be like. While we cannot fund them all, we decided to add four smaller scholarships to somehow reward at least a few more of these students. Therefore, the following women, read in absolutely no order whatsoever, will each receive a $250 scholarship. This will be mailed to them on August 1st. Talor Musil,Kaitlyn Smith,Rachael Floodand Nicki Brose This year’s $1,000 winner will also receive a candy bouquet! One of the many things this year’s winner wrote in her essay was about her last encounter with Christi, as our families happened to walk out of the theater together. She wrote, “Christi’s eyes widened to the size of golf balls at the sight of my delicious candy bouquet my mother had just given me. Christi maturely looked up at me and said, ‘Now don’t eat all of that in one day; you will get a stomach ache.’ I smiled at her and thanked her for the advice. That was my last encounter with Christi.” And now we smile at HER and thank HER for sharing her memories of Christi with us. She is so deserving of this award. Congratulations to this year's $1,000 Christi Thomas Memorial Scholarship Winner - Brooke Siesel!