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Eastchester Students, Staff Lace Up Dancing Shoes

EASTCHESTER, N.Y. – The Eastchester High School gymnasium will take on a familiar feeling for reality TV fans Friday night when the sophomore class presents the sixth annual "Dancing With Our Stars" and second annual "Cupcake Wars."

The events benefit the sophomore class and Gilda's Club of Westchester , which was the impetus behind the original dancing competition.

"Six years ago the sophomore class wanted to run an event to raise money for Gilda's Club," said Sophomore Club Adviser Lina Astarita. "And hence, we got a local studio to help – Andreas Dance Studio – and the dance competition began."

This year, Dance by Design has joined with Andrea's Dance Studio to provide lessons for the dancers, including students, teachers and administrators as well as Superintendent Marilyn Terranova. News 12's Brian Conybeare will host the event.

Last year, Astarita said, "We added the cupcake component where teachers competed for best cupcakes. We have over 1,000 cupcakes being baked from teachers district wide."

More than 40 raffle prizes have been donated by parents or the community, she said, including tickets to see the British group One Direction.

Gilda's Club is named for comedian Gilda Radner, who shot to fame as an original member of TV's "Saturday Night Live," for which she won an Emmy. Radner died of ovarian cancer at age 42. According to its website, the first Gilda's Club opened in 1995 in New York City in fulfillment of Radner's dream to have an informal, welcoming place, like a clubhouse, where people living with cancer, their families and friends, might come together to laugh and cry, exchange information and experiences, find support and pass it on to others. Gilda's Club Westchester opened its signature red doors on Maple Avenue in White Plains in 2001. The Westchester clubhouse serves Westchester and Rockland Counties as well as Connecticut's Southern Fairfield.

Doors open at 6:15 and the event begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10. Eastchester High School is located at 2 Stewart Place.

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