Lindsey Bridges

A Lyon County fourth grade teacher will dance later this spring to raise money to help parents of children undergoing cancer treatment. Lindsey Bridges, who teaches at Lyon Elementary School, is among eight western Kentucky/southern Illinois women participating in the first Dancing for Gold.

Bridges is dancing in memory of Owen Matthews. Owen, the 11-year-old son of Chase and Jennifer Matthews of Lyon County, fought cancer valiantly for months. He died last Nov. 4 “in his comfortable bed with his Dad, Mom, big sister and loving dog, Buddy, by his side,” his obituary read. “Owen was a child of God and attended Charity Baptist Church in Eddyville. … He loved baseball and basketball and was the youngest Kentucky Colonel ever, and an honorary member of many law enforcement groups.”

Other dancers in Dancing for Gold are:

• Rachel Marks, interventional radiologic technologist at Memorial Hospital of Carbondale, Illinois, who was crowned Mrs. Illinois America in May 2019.

• Amanda Waxman, accounts payable and receivable at Western Rivers Boat Management, Paducah.

• Amanda Farley, guidance counselor at Morgan Elementary School in Paducah.

• Amber Crise Parker, principal of Ballard County Middle School, Barlow.

• Rylan Crouch, student in Mayfield and a childhood cancer survivor.

• Bethany Crouch, staff development coordinator at Green Acres Health Care Inc., Mayfield. Bethany and her daughter Rylan, are dancing together.

The event is scheduled for April 17 at the Paducah Convention Center. Doors open at 5 p.m. and dancing begins at 6. Tables for eight are: $750 in back, $1,000 in middle, $1,500 in front and $75 for individual seats. To purchase a table or seat or to donate go to: Donations may also be made through any of the dancers to help the dancer reach her goal of at least $10,000. Dancing for Gold is sponsored by the non-profit organization Book for Hope, based in Paducah. For more information contact Gaylon Hayden, president of Book for Hope.

Book of Hope provides an emergency envelope upon diagnosis of a child with cancer. The envelope contains a prepaid $150 Visa card, $50 fuel card and $50 restaurant card. “We pay one monthly bill per family as long as the child is on treatment,” the organization’s brochure said.

“You can make a difference in the lives of families living with the nightmare of having a child diagnosed with cancer, the No. 1 disease-related cause of death in children,” said the sponsor’s brochure. Why do they dance? “Our children are more precious than gold.” Mothers of children fighting cancer questioned why someone “didn’t dance for children?” Book for Hope “stepped up to the plate with an incredible group of dancers. It has been challenging with COVID 19, but cancer has not stopped attacking children.

“The Dancing for Gold was supposed to have been in September 2020, then it got postponed until February, and because of COVID we are pushing it back to April,” Bridges said. “Children “in western Kentucky or southern Illinois, if they are undergoing cancer treatment, the organization helps their families.”

Book for Hope will follow Centers for Disease Control protocol, which requires limited attendance, check in with hand sanitation, and physical distancing. The organization has two directors of nursing who will use touchless temperature checks. CDC compliant guidelines will also be followed for all food and beverage service. Food will be catered. Food will be provided for those who buy individual seats as well as tables and there will be a cash bar.

Which dance is your favorite? The public may share and give their favorite dancer a shout out on Facebook, the brochure said. “Dancing for Gold will be a beautiful evening for children who have had cancer.”