South Jersey school choirs and local dance troupes will perform free holiday shows at the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel daily through Dec. 21 to raise funds for local residents with serious illnesses.
The performances, which are part of the annual Sounds of the Season program to benefit the MAPS Foundation of South Jersey, take place in the casino's theater.
Rose Silverman, a resident of Margate and one of the founders of MAPS, said Sounds of the Season is the foundation's main annual fundraiser. Each year, the program is hosted by an Atlantic City casino. This is the first year the Atlantic Club is serving as host.
Silverman said the mission of MAPS is to purchase medical supplies and equipment for South Jersey residents afflicted with multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease or Parkinson's disease. The M and S in MAPS stands for multiple sclerosis, the A for Alzheimer's and the P for Parkinson's.
"So (those afflicted) can go ahead and spend their money on buying gifts or something that would make them happy, instead of medical costs," she said.
The foundation is also affiliated with the Project Lifesaver program, paying the monthly costs for its clients. Participants wear a special bracelet equipped with a small transmitter that emits a signal law enforcement can track if someone goes missing.
Holly Campano, vice president of marketing at Atlantic Club, said the casino is honored to host Sounds of the Season.
"We consider ourselves the locals casino, so we thought it's only appropriate to host this program," Campano said. "It adds a nice seasonal touch."
MAPS currently has 90 clients. Last year, it served 141 clients but had to make cutbacks due to a lack of funding. To do so, MAPS cut clients' maximum income from $45,000 to $30,000.
Although the performances are free, Silverman said the hope is that people will leave a small donation to benefit MAPS. The foundation will have a table set up selling holiday wreathes and other decorations.
Contact Elisa Lala: 609-272-7260
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This week's Sounds of the Season schedule
Today: Ocean City High School, 11 a.m.; Buena Regional Middle School, 11:45 a.m.
Tuesday: Egg Harbor Township High School, 11 a.m.; Margaret Mace Elementary School, 11:45 a.m.
Wednesday: Middle Township Middle School, 11 a.m.; William Davies Middle School, 11:45 a.m.
Thursday: Absegami High School, 11 a.m.; Atlantic County Institute of Technology (fashion show), 11:45 a.m.
Friday: Belhaven Middle School, 11 a.m.; Oakcrest High School ,11:45 a.m.
Saturday: Absecon Dance Academy, noon; Century Cloggers; 1 p.m.; Ava Maloney,
Sunday: Ensemble Arts, noon; Eden School of Dance, 1 p.m.; Raise the Barre, 2 p.m.; Dance Spectrum, 3 p.m.