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Performers prepare to take stage for AID telethon

Dancers from State Street Dance Studio Genevwill perform agathis year's telethbenefit Associatifor Individual Development. The telethwill be March 16 Waubonsee

Dancers from State Street Dance Studio in Geneva will perform again at this year's telethon to benefit the Association for Individual Development. The telethon will be March 16 at Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove

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Performers needed

The annual AID Telethon is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. March 16 at the auditorium at Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove. The telethon will stream live on the AID website and be broadcast on cable channels throughout Fox Valley.

Performers are needed to participate in the telethon. Singers, dancers and musicians are welcome.

For information, go to the AID website,

Updated: January 22, 2013 1:28PM

Shannon O’Shea will be returning to the stage at Waubonsee Community College for the upcoming AID Telethon.

Shannon, 17, a Maple Park resident, has danced with Mayer School of Irish Dance during past telethons to raise money for AID, which serves area residents with developmental disabilities.

In preparing for the March 16 performance, she recalls the moment just before stepping foot on stage.

“It just feels like butterflies are in my stomach and my heart starts beating really fast,” Shannon said. “Once you get up there, the fear kind of just goes away.”

Another group of dancers performing for the telethon will be from the State Street Dance Studio in Geneva. Dancers ages 12 to 18 from State Street Dance Studio have performed ballet, contemporary ballet, jazz and modern dances through the years for the telethon.

This year, Linda Cunningham, founder and artistic director of State Street Dance Studio, is offering 16 hours of dance instruction for anyone who pledges $125 when her dancers perform at the telethon.

According to Wendy Bialek, special events coordinator for AID, money raised through the annual telethon will help more than 5,000 special needs children and adults, ranging from 3 to 90 years old.

The telethon is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. March 16 at the auditorium at Waubonsee Community College on Route 47 in Sugar Grove.

Bialek said the event will stream live on the AID website — — and will be broadcast on cable channels throughout Fox Valley.

“It’s our biggest community outreach program,” Bialek said. “So, we’ve got probably close to 600 volunteers participating — which makes it very exciting.”

Among those volunteers is Amy Becker of Millington, who will sing for the telethon — for the 12th time.

Becker’s son, Gus, 17, has cerebral palsy and has benefited from AID services. Now, she said, Gus is doing great and does not receive services.

Becker knows about having butterflies while taking the stage. “Oh yeah, I was scared to death,” Becker said.

Becker has strummed a guitar while singing Beatles songs like “We Can Work It Out,” “Here Comes The Sun” and “Oh! Darling.”

This year Becker will take to the stage to sing another Beatles classic, “Here, There and Everywhere.” Becker said she is “excited and glad to be helping out and hoping that people would call in.”

Another veteran singer at the telethon is 15-year-old Lily Morris of Batavia, who has been singing for the AID fundraiser for eight years. “At first I was shaking,” Lily said. “I was really, really nervous. And that kind of happens every year. But then after I start to really warm up from the stage — and it’s easier. And I actually feel like I’m helping a lot.”

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