SOMERS, N.Y. - Nearly 30 grown men stood next to their daughters and granddaughters, and took part in the Daddy Daughter Ballet Class at Penny Lane Dance Academy in Somers on Tuesday, April 11, to benefit and raise awareness of childhood cancer.

The men—wearing everything from their work attire to colorful tutus—were participating in a very fun approach to a very serious cause, specifically the Team Daniel Strong foundation, named for the brother of a Penny Lane dancer who was suddenly diagnosed with leukemia three-and-a-half years ago. Daniel, a student at Somers Middle School, has since finished treatment, and is doing well.

Penny Lane founder Andrea McCormack, a former professional dancer and recording artist from Liverpool, England, has seen her school rally around Daniel’s and other families as childhood cancer has affected the academy several times since opening in Somers in 2010.

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“Penny Lane is a loving, supportive environment, where we care more about hugs than trophies,” McCormack said. “We have a big heart that was on display when Daniel got sick, and it showed up here tonight when daddies with stubbly beards and tattoos were dancing alongside their little girls for a good cause. I’m so grateful to be associated with these beautiful Penny Lane families.”

The event raised nearly $600 in just 45 minutes, and plans are already under way to hold another daddy-focused event in the near future. Past Penny Lane fundraisers have benefitted Relay for Life and Ronald McDonald House among others.

For more information about Penny Lane Dance Academy, and their other community events visit pennylanedance.com or facebook.com/pennylanedance.

All photos by Tabitha Pearson Marshall