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'Operation Hunger' is theme of Southview's 'Dance for a Chance'

Two food-related charities - one that helps hungry people in northwest Ohio; the other, children in war-torn Darfur - will be the beneficiaries of this year's "Dance for a Chance" at Sylvania Southview High School.

Southview students who have raised pledges of at least $65 will participate in the 12-hour dance-a-thon that starts at noon Saturday in the school's gymnasium and commons area.

This year's theme is "Operation Hunger," and dance-a-thon proceeds will be split, with half going to the Toledo-Northwestern Ohio Food Bank.

"As the U.S. unemployment rate rises over 10 percent, many Americans face chronic hunger," said Yifang Cao, a Southview student leading this year's organizing effort. "Dance for a Chance will ease and bring awareness to the local hunger problem."

The rest will go to Will Work for Food, an organization that works with Doctors Without Borders to fight child malnutrition in Darfur, a southern region of the African nation of Sudan that has been wracked by civil war since 2003.

Now in its seventh year, Dance for a Chance has raised more than $75,000 for different charities each year, with hundreds of students, faculty, and community members contributing.

Last year's Dance for a Chance raised about $25,000 for three Toledo-area foundations that help local people with certain disabilities or debilitating, long-term illnesses.

Along with participants' pledge-gathering, the event relies on local businesses to support the effort with donations of food, cash, and merchandise to provide meals and refreshments during the dance-a-thon as well as prizes for those participants who raise donations exceeding $100 or $200.

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