Children’s Learning Centers of Fairfield County (CLC) held a virtual “I Will Survive,” fundraising dance party on Instagram Live on April 3. The popular Greenwich-based DJ April Larken hosted the 3-hour event to “help raise spirits and funds with good tunes!” There were over 600 participants throughout the night, from the tri-state area, California, Florida, the Boston area, and even a large contingency from England. Viewers were able to interact live at the party by giving virtual high fives, making comments and song requests in the live feed on the screen, and some lucky guests even got to “dance” with Larken via a split-screen.
The Instagram dance party raised $123,000 for CLC and was a pivot from its canceled Annual Benefit on April 24, which was to feature the Grammy-award winning Gloria Gaynor. Currently, CLC is focusing its effort to help assist those on the front lines battling the COVID-19 pandemic by providing care and education of healthcare workers and first responders.
Marc Jaffe, Chief Executive Officer of CLC, said, “the innovative event was an opportunity to bring some safe fun to a Friday night. I am really pleased that so many of the CLC families, teachers, and staff were able to participate. We also made a lot of new friends as a large percentage of the donors that evening were first-time donors to CLC.”
Town of Greenwich First Selectman Fred Camillo popped into the comments and praised the work of CLC and Larken for their uplifting social distancing fundraiser. ‘Orange Is the New Black’ actress Kate Mulgrew shouted it out in her Instagram feed as did Greenwich’s own Gretchen Carlson.
Other notable attendees included NYC A-listers Donat Barrault-Stephens, Amanda Rice, and Bethany D’Meza. The experience was new for Larken, who is used to performing at galas hosted by Valentino at the Plaza Hotel in NYC and some of Greenwich’s chicest events but has never streamed live from her home studio. “We all need to do our part in flattening the curve, but at the same time, people are looking to connect now more than ever. We’re finding new ways to do this while social distancing, and sharing a love of music is a form of intimacy we can do virtually. Madonna said it best, ‘music makes the people come together.'”
The social distancing dance party was an opportunity to connect people and flatten the curve. The event was sponsored by the Berger Family Foundation, Ernest & Young, McKinnon Family Foundation, Moffly Media, Pitney Bowes, SEABASS Events and Entertainment, Silver Golub & Teitell LLP, Stamford Hospital, Synchrony, and Walter J. McKeever and Co LLC. “We are extremely pleased to be able to provide this support so our healthcare workforce can focus on what we all need them to be doing right now,” said Jaffe.
To learn more and make a donation, visit clcfc.org