Swing for the Cure, a swing dance to benefit the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation will be held Saturday, June 28, at Rowan University’s Enyon Ballroom, in Glassboro. The event is organized by two young women who know the tragedy of breast cancer all too well: Caitlin Terry of Vineland, whose father Craig Terry, is a U.S. 1 photographer, and Melissa Venditti of Bloomfield. The event is part of the Breast Cancer 3-Day in Philadelphia, a 60-mile walk through the city coming in October.
Terry, a civil engineer, and Venditti, an associate producer with MTV, grew up together in Vineland and were just 18 when breast cancer took the life of Terry’s mother, eight years ago.
“Melissa’s my best friend and is like part of our family. In fact she is in the last family photo we took with mom,” Terry says. "We met when we were 13, both on a local swim team in Vineland. We went to college together at Rowan, co-coached a vaulting team, co-founded a swing club and basically did everything together,” she says.
And for the 3-Day in Philadelphia they are walking together under the Team J.E.T. moniker, in honor of Terry’s mother, Joan Elizabeth Terry.
Terry and Venditti have been social dancers for six years and have also performed in various swing dance demonstrations and college talent shows and choreographed and performed in a college/community opera. The duo co-founded a swing dance club at Rowan during their junior and senior years.
“Our team has to raise $4,400 to qualify to participate in the walk, our hopes are to raise much more,” says Terry. “For the dance, we have hired Lady Luck and the Suicide Kings, a swing band out of New York City, rented the Enyon Ballroom at Rowan University, rented dance floors, and contracted caterers. It’s going to be a fun time for anyone interested in dancing or just watching some awesome swing.”
In addition to the dance and the walk, the women are creating a documentary on the Breast Cancer 3-Day. Terry says: “The idea is to document a diverse group of people who will be participating in the walk. We are in the early stages of interviews, but plan on following the participants on their training walks, attending their fundraising events, and providing a forum for their stories.”
Terry says everyone has a story to tell, a reason for taking on a commitment to raise money and walk 60 miles for a cause. “Melissa and I have my mom as our reason and our documentary will show other people whose lives have also been touched by breast cancer.”
Swing for the Cure, swing dance, Saturday, June 28, 6 to 10 p.m., Rowan University’s Enyon Ballroom, Glassboro. Open to the public. $27/person, $50/couple in advance; $30/person at the door. Visit www.swingforthecure.net or call Caitlin Terry at 609-805-1549.