Break dancing for a cause

After school programs that help young teens stay off the streets and out of trouble are facing severe budget cuts – so to help raise awareness two organizations are teaming up to present a battle like no other.
The Queens Community House, a non-profit organization that serves youths, families and seniors in the borough has teamed up with All the Way Live Foundation, a California-based non-profit that recruits at-risk youths off the street, to present the first ever East Coast vs. West Coast B-Boy Break Dancing Battle, on Saturday, April 10 at the Queens Community House (QCH) in Forest Hills.
“Queens Community House has had a break dancing program for over 10 years now and one of our dancer’s who is affiliated with All the Way Live connected us,” said Mike Zevon, assistant director for youth services at QCH. “The Executive Director for All the Way Live, Sergio Suarez, and myself have been working together to help raise awareness to the tremendous budget cuts that threaten both our programs on each coast of the United States. QCH is at risk of losing 100 percent of their youth services in Forest Hills due to the budget cuts.”
Currently, more than 400 people are expected to attend the event, with invitations sent out to local politicians as well. The event will consist of three competitions between the break dancers from the Queens Community House Evening Teen Center and the All the Way Live dancers. The winners will be awarded cash prizes.
“Programs that provide a space for young people to congregate and engage in youth development activities are vital to promoting healthy communities and necessary for working parents,” said Irma Rodriguez, executive director of Queens Community House. “Unfortunately, they are often the first to be cut because their impact is hard to quantify since they have successfully averted negative outcomes.”
Zevon believes the worst could happen if the cuts proposed by New York City and the state’s Fiscal Year 2011 budget pass.
Residents who wish to come and support the organizations can attend the April 10 event, which will take place at 108-25 62nd Drive in Forest Hills from 3 to 9 p.m.

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