Local dancers and other performers will join fellow dancer and cancer survivor Alex Swader for the 8th Annual Tapping Out Childhood Cancer Gala on Sunday, Sept. 25. The event begins with a performance at the Alabama Theatre (1817 3rd Ave. N., Birmingham) at 2 p.m., followed by a VIP after-party/Celebration at Gabrella Manor (8912 4th Ave. S., Birmingham) at 5 p.m.
Alex Swader, 16, of Mt. Olive, is an 8-year cancer survivor and award-winning dancer. Swader organized Tapping Out Childhood Cancer after being diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma in 2008 and undergoing three surgeries and eight months of chemotherapy. While he was still in a hospital bed receiving treatment, Swader was dreaming of his return to dance and thinking of what he could do to help other kids going through a similar experience.
The Tapping Out Childhood Cancer Gala is a family-friendly event that showcases local and national talent and dance styles. The show will include performances by at least a dozen dance studios from across the Birmingham metro area. This year, they will be joined by dancers from all over the United States and Canada, who perform on a pre-professional and professional level, members of Artists Giving Hope which is based out of Los Angeles, and professional companies from Birmingham and Atlanta, such as The Alabama Ballet, Arova Contemporary Ballet, and Project 7 Dance Company.
Tickets are $20 for the show, or $35 for both the show and the VIP after-party/Celebration (which will include dinner and dancing with the childhood cancer families) if purchased in advance online (ticket prices will slightly increase at the door). Children under age 8 are admitted free. Tickets are available at http://give.childrensal.org/goto/dancersfightingcancer
This year, there will also be a Tapping Out Childhood Cancer one-day Dance Intensive the day before, on Saturday, Sept. 24. This will be held at The Alabama Ballet Center for Dance (2726 1st Ave. S., Birmingham) from 11:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tickets are $50 and ages 8 and older will sign up for either intermediate (8-13) or advanced (14 – 18). Register online at http://give.childrensal.org/goto/dancersfightingcancer.
Swader’s Dancers Fighting Cancer group has raised more than $155,000 for cancer research at Children’s of Alabama. Swader’s efforts were recognized by the Association of Fundraising Professionals when they presented him with Young Philanthropist Award in 2012.
About the Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders
Children’s of Alabama is the 10th busiest pediatric medical center in the United States. The Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children's of Alabama is the state's only comprehensive center for pediatric cancer and other blood disorders, treating more than 80 percent of all such patients diagnosed in Alabama. Specialized pediatric services exist for all forms of childhood cancer, leukemia, brain and spinal cord tumors, hemophilia and other bleeding disorders and sickle cell diseases in the state. The center is a partnership between Children’s and the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Division of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology. The ACCCBD is home to the only pediatric programs in blood and marrow transplantation, childhood cancer survivorship, developmental cancer therapeutics, pediatric neuro-oncology, pediatric hemophilia and sickle cell disease in the state of Alabama. The cancer program is ranked among the best in the nation by US News & World Report. More information is available at www.childrensal.org, Facebook.com/childrenshospitalofalabama or Twitter.com/ChildrensAL.