‘Teddi 40: What’s Your Story’: 100 days until the 40th Annual Teddi Dance for Love


Teddi 39 took place both in person and virtually in February of 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photos provided by Jack Laino and Abigail King)

Kelsey Braun, Editor in Chief

November 10 marks 100 days until the 40th Annual Teddi Dance for Love at St. John Fisher College. This year’s theme is ‘Teddi 40: What’s Your Story,’ a theme that will encompass the stories from previous campers, current campers, Camp Good Days, and Special Times camp volunteers, and stories from the Fisher community. 

“I really wanted to focus it around why we’re here and what’s gotten us here after 40 years,” said Liliana Rucci, Chair of Teddi 40. “We’re really celebrating everyone’s stories over the 40 years.” 

Another important aspect of Teddi 40’s theme is honoring Teddi Mervis, the girl who inspired the Teddi Dance for Love. Rucci hopes that after 40 years, the Teddi 40 dance can center around the origins of Teddi. “A lot of people don’t understand that Teddi is an actual person, we’re doing it for someone, in honor of someone,” said Allie Klonowski, Vice-Chair of Teddi 40. 

The Teddi 40 dance will be decorated just like summer camp — with inspiration coming directly from Camp Good Days and Special Times. “We’re really bringing important elements and themes from Camp Good Days and using those in our decorations,” said Rucci. “So, we’re really trying to bring that feel of Camp Good Days to Fisher.”

Another element of the Teddi 40 in-person dance is the option for people to be virtual. Whether it’s a live stream or an interactive Zoom, both Rucci and Klonowski agree virtual technology will help bring in a wider audience to the event. 

“I think it was really successful last year, it reached out to a community that doesn’t usually get involved with Teddi,” Klonowski said. “I know there were a lot of people from all over the states that Zoomed in, whether they were past chairs, past members or people who heard about camp and wanted to Zoom into Teddi.”

Additionally, there are plans in place to honor Teddi 39 committee members who didn’t get the typical in-person dance this past year. “We are looking to celebrate Teddi 39 and the people involved with that because they didn’t get their in-person Teddi,” said Rucci. “We’re really celebrating their hard work too because they pulled off a Teddi that a lot of people didn’t think was going to happen at first.” 

There will be a campus-wide celebration to kick off the countdown until Teddi 40 on November 10. Events include free haircuts, 11 hours of Instagram Challenges, and a 100 days Teddi meeting with Gary Mervis, the founder of Camp Good Days and Special Times, and President Rooney. 

“The committee members and the support that we’ve gained from the staff around us has been so appreciated. Everyone’s gone above and beyond way more than we ever expected them to, to support us with everything we’ve done especially with COVID. It really doesn’t go unnoticed and it’s really nice knowing that we have the support of every staff member, professor, and student on campus behind us. I honestly don’t think we’d be as successful if we didn’t,” said Klonowski.

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