What started as a small group for special needs kids to dance has now turned into an invitation to perform on the world stage. St. Pius’ special needs folklorico group, Estrellitas de Dios, has been invited to perform this month at the World Games for Special Olympics in Los Angeles.
Alerted in June about the invitation, Estrellitas is now hard at work with 2-hour daily practices.
“I like it and I like practicing almost every day to get more better,” said Gary Harrelson, a 5-year dance veteran.
And the crunch is on for fundraising as well. 55 kids and their parents intend to travel to L.A. To fly there will cost $30,000…money the group doesn’t have.
“We’re doing fundraisers to get our money going to sell hot dogs, water, cokes, bolis and trying to get donations to go to the World Games,” he said.
“What this does for us is opens doors to the community and the world that people with disabilities can do a lot of things,” said Richard Couder, Dir. of Special Needs Ministry. “They’re just looking for an opportunity.”
“It’s not a lot of time for us to come up with $30,000 but we’re trying,” said Raquel Rosales, a mom whose son dances with the group. “We’re asking our families and we’re doing a lot for them to achieve that dream.”
The group is slated to perform July 26 and 27 for the more than 7,000 athletes representing 170 countries. Organizers can hardly wait.
“Their dream becomes reality,” said Couder. “They come back to El Paso and tell everyone in El Paso, ‘Man what an opportunity we had!’”
To donate to Estrellitas de Dios, call (915) 443-3703.