BY JURRY TAALIB-DEEN
Journal Staff Writer
Kimmari Toney, 8, talked and laughed with her family in Bowsher High School’s Performing Arts Theatre on Saturday, April 13, awaiting the start of a dance performance fundraiser especially for her.
The event was organized by her Reynolds Elementary School teacher Mike Polk in order to help the family with medical costs for her recent diagnosis of leukemia.
Polk gathered local dance artists to perform during the event. Some of those artists included “he House of Adonis, Touch of Dream Dance Team, Pickett Academy dance team, Scott High School’s drum line and dance team, The Scottettes and many others.
“Kimmari is a very bright girl. She’s always smiling. She’s just a beautiful girl,” Polk said about his pupil.
So, when he took to the stage to open the show, as a Michael Jackson Tribute Artist, his student could be seen dancing and clapping in her seat.
One-by-one, different dance artists performed their routine, each causing Toney to excitedly dance in her seat.
“I’m happy here because it’s so fun,” expressed Toney.
“It feels so good to have this kind of support; it’s been blessing,” said Christopher Smith, father, who has custody of five of his eight children.
Six months ago, Smith rushed his Kimarri to the emergency room because her lymph nodes were swollen. Doctors later diagnosed her with leukemia.
Although Toney goes through chemotherapy three times a week, Smith said she’s always bright and cheerful.
“She’s very strong,” he said. “She’s handling the whole situation very well. In fact, many of the nurses encourage her to talk to the other kids going through similar situation to be strong.”
The Make A Wish Foundation will fulfill his Kimarri’s wish in July by sending the entire household to Disney World in California, Smith said.
“My kids are really excited about going to Disney World. They get up every day talking about it,” he said.
Following the event, Polk presented Toney with a tablet computer and announced that the event raised $600.
To donate to the medical fund for Kimmari Toney, call Reynolds Elementary at 419-671-1500, Polk at 419-320-4824 or Smith at 419-810-2963.