As the wife of a battalion commander and 20-year veteran of the United States Army, Bianca Caryl knows the kind of sacrifices made by members of the military.
“It is a huge commitment that affects their entire family,” said Caryl, owner of Center Pointe Dance in Ahwatukee Foothills. “When these soldiers are injured in combat we owe them so much for making the ultimate sacrifice.”
Out of that connection, Caryl is donating proceeds of the studio’s annual holiday show to the Wounded Warrior Project.
The nation-wide project, with a location in Scottsdale, serves veterans and service members with physical or mental injuries, illnesses, or wounds after their military service on or after Sept. 11, 2011 and their families.
Each year, Center Pointe Dance’s “Holly Day Benefit Show” chooses a charity to donate to from ticket sales. Since Caryl and her husband, Jim, took ownership of the studio about five years ago, Caryl has been able to give an average of $2,500 to various charities every year.
“I wanted to push the event as not just a holiday show, but also as community service,” added Caryl, who mentioned that dance shows usually never generate a lot of income for studios.
“We feel strongly about giving back, especially around the holidays,” said Caryl, who also directs the dance company at Desert Vista High School.
The show will feature routines to classic Christmas favorites as well as modern pieces, performances by dancers as young as 2 and a half, a holiday boutique, and a photo opportunity with Santa Claus.
Caryl mentioned that her dancers have a different sense of excitement every year for the “Holly Day” shows, knowing that the money will benefit others.
“They love it, it’s an extra special feeling,” Caryl said.
For Jim, who is currently working for the U.S. Army Reserve and is a full-time pilot and regional manager for Air Method, said he feels lucky to have come home from numerous overseas tours with only minor injuries.
Most service members who do return are physically and or mentally affected by their service, at times unable to return to a “normal” work life.
“Many of his friends were not so lucky,” said Caryl of Jim. “We want to honor them because we have been so blessed.”
The “Holly Day Benefit Show” will be hosted at Desert Vista High School’s Joe McDonald Auditorium, 16440 S. 32nd St., on Saturday, Dec. 15 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance or at the door.
• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter: @_dianamartinez.