Eastvale Dances For Finley

Photo courtesy: @fifiandmo Instagram Finley ready to dance with the community at the 65th Street LIVE Concert in the Park in Eastvale.

Photo courtesy: @fifiandmo Instagram
Finley ready to dance with the community at the 65th Street LIVE Concert in the Park in Eastvale.

Staff Reports

Eastvale – Hundreds of community members gathered on July 29 at Harada Heritage Park for the 65th Street LIVE Concerts in the Park to dance for one special Eastvale resident: 3-year-old Finely Smallwood.

The Jurupa Community Services District (JCSD) Parks and Recreation Department organized the event so the community can come together to help Finley raise money and awareness about Cerebral Palsy.

Finley was born 9 weeks premature and suffers from Cerebral Palsy. She loves to dance, but can’t move without help. Her parents, Christian and Jose Smallwood, received news that Finley is a great candidate for selective dorsal rhizotomy. The procedure may help her walk and even dance on her own someday; however, the procedure is not covered under their medical insurance. That is where the #DareToDanceChallenge was born.

The loving community joined together to take the #DareToDanceChallenge that Finley’s mother, Christina Smallwood and neighbor, Brittany Rodriguez, started. Many local residents were in attendance at the Concerts in the Park, including JCSD staff, local law enforcement agencies, CNUSD staff, and City of Eastvale staff members. Even a local cheer and dance group, Sinergy, provided a gift to Finley and cheered her on. Don’t Stop Believing, a Journey Cover Band that was performing that night, joined in on the challenge and danced while Meghan Trainor’s song, “Better When I’m Dancing” was playing between sets.

Trainor’s song is one of Finley’s favorites and was first featured in a silly video of Christina and Finley dancing. The #DareToDanceChallenge took off when the LA County Fire Department posted a video of the fire fighters dancing with Finley and Christina. KTLA picked up the story and the challenge went viral. Many have posted videos of themselves dancing, such as Perez Hilton, and contestants from the Bachelor TV Show. Even Disneyland has conducted events to support Finley.

Photo courtesy: JCSD Local Synergy cheer and dance team posed with 3-year-old Finley Smallwood and her mom Christina at the 65th Street LIVE Concert in the Park in Eastvale. The event was organized by JCSD so the community could dance for Finley and help raise money for her surgery.

Photo courtesy: JCSD
Local Synergy cheer and dance team posed with 3-year-old Finley Smallwood and her mom Christina at the 65th Street LIVE Concert in the Park in Eastvale. The event was organized by JCSD so the community could dance for Finley and help raise money for her surgery.

Participates of the challenge are asked to post a video of themselves dancing with the hashtag #DareToDanceChallenge. Then they have to tag a few friends to take the challenge. If those friends don’t post a video of themselves dancing in 24 hours, they must donate $20 to Finley’s campaign. However, of course you can dance AND donate too!

As of press time, the Smallwoods have raised $52,497 of their $60,000 goal. They almost have enough money to be able to afford Finley’s surgery, cost of travel expenses, and cover the cost of intensive therapy for Finley’s recovery after the surgery. But they haven’t reached their goal yet so you can still join in on the challenge!

JCSD recently posted their video of community kids dancing, JCSD staff dancing, and the 76th Street Live Concerts in the Park event (Facebook/JCSDParks). JCSD then challenged Corona Norco Unified School District, City of Eastvale, City Of Jurupa Valley, Jurupa Unified School District, and the Jurupa Area Recreation and Park District to take the challenge.

Join us in dancing for Finley! “We Dare YOU Dare to Dance!”

Visit www.doyoudaretodance.com for more information about Finley’s story and how you can donate.

Photo courtesy: JCSD Local law enforcement and officials gave gifts to Finley and her mother Christina.

Photo courtesy: JCSD
Local law enforcement and officials gave gifts to Finley and her mother Christina.