Daniel Bielak is a long time volunteer of Crafting For a Cure and son of Pamela Bielak. He has been alongside his mom crafting since he can remember. He’s now a 4th year student at the University of Guelph-Humber and 2-time world champion in business case competition. He’s a writer, dreamer and believer in having smiles for all.
Eden Sharon joined the charity almost a year ago and could not be happier with the choice she made. She has been dancing since the ripe age of 2 and is excited to be able to share her passion with others in such a positive manner. Crafting for a Cure is such a positive and impactful charity for those being danced and crafted for, as well as those dancing and crafting.
Olivia is very excited to be a part of the Crafting For A Cure Brunch and Ballet. Olivia studied classical ballet for 11 years with Victoria Ballet Academy. She is very grateful to be part of the Crafting For A Cure Smiles For All team. She enjoys being part of such a special cause in spreading smiles to others through the art of dance. She would like to thank Pamela, Naiomi and Michelle for allowing her to join in this meaningful endeavour. She would also like to thank her parents and sister for always encouraging her to follow her passion.
Rony is 16 and began dancing when she was five years old. Rony currently is in the Claude Watson Arts Program for dance at Earl Haig Secondary School and has explored styles which include contemporary, modern, tap, jazz, character, hip hop, Bollywood, and ballet. Outside of dance Rony also enjoys playing hockey and spending quality time with family and friends. She believes in Crafting for a Cure because when she dances for the patients she sees them forget, if only for a moment, where they are. Watching the kids smile truly fills her heart and is a magical experience. Rony has been part of CFC cure for two years and is honoured to be a part of making people smile through her passion for dance.
My name is Olivia Patiakas and I am originally from Hamilton Ontario in Canada. I moved to New York City to train at the Joffrey Ballet school where I became a member of the Smiles for All team with Crafting for a Cure. I have been working with the charity for nearly 2 and a half years and I am proud and humbled to be a part of their vision. I have been lucky to be a part of the first trip to Israel with the charity and the annual High Tea. I love this charity because through something as simple as a craft kit or a small performance from one of the dancers we can make a small difference in someone’s day for the better in their time of need.
Josie was born and raised in Santiago, Chile. She began dancing when she was 8 years old at Sandra Claren School of Irish dance, where she trained until she was 15. She started doing ballet at age 12 in Royal Dance Chile, a couple years later she auditioned for the Joffrey Ballet School NYC summer intensive and received a scholarship to their year round pre-professional program. She joined the program in January 2018 and is now in the middle of her third year with the school. She is constantly inspired by the kindness spread by Crafting for a cute Smiles for all and makes it her mission to put smiles on as many faces as possible.
Derrick started dancing at the age of 14. He fell in love with the art form overnight and knew that this was his calling. After a couple years of hard work he got accepted to the Joffrey Ballet School where he met the owner of the Smiles for all division of Crafting for a cure. He knew instantly that he needed to spread smiles to the faces of as many children as possible. Spreading kindness through dance.
What many do not realize is that I am the sole person that runs the charity. What does that mean, it means, I am the CEO, VP, Treasurer, Secretary, Driver and everything else. Friends who help unconditionally surround me, I work with high school and university students who want to volunteer their time. However, up until now I really chose to not emphasize that the charity was run by one – "me".
“Some people say laugher or happiness is the best medicine, and these are words that I truly live by. My mother started this charity with one true goal in mind. To make an unhappy, sick child, happy again. I continue to strive to do the same thing alongside her. With my program “Smiles for All”, I have really experienced and witnessed the full affects our charity has. As myself or the dancers perform, I see children with tear streaked faces smiling once again, and parents with full hearted emotions as they watch their child finally feel relief. If only for just a minute, everyone is happy. The true fulfillment I feel after a visit and undoubtably irreplaceable. You really have to experience it to really feel it, but it’s truly magic. This is why I give my love and sole to ballet and this charity. I am immensely proud of how much we have grown. I truly hope that with help we can continue to grow and share this passion with everyone, and provide the distraction and smiles to all in need. So if laughter and smiles are the best medication, then I believe everyone deserves it.”
I honestly don’t know any other organization like Crafting For A Cure that does this and has this great of an impact. I am truly blessed to be apart of my own mothers’ charity, and I can’t wait to see where it will take us next.
Michelle has been working with Crafting for a Cure since 2015 and sees no end in sight. She started off as the first ballerina on the Toronto team, and quickly worked her way up to Toronto Team Leader, overseeing a growing team of passionate dancers. Over the years, Michelle has brought smiles to children in hospitals all over Toronto, the GTA and NYC! She is very excited to have the opportunity to be emcee the third annual CFC Fundraiser as the cause is close to her heart.
I feel privileged, honored, and humbled to be there with them and to be able to say these are my friends. Traveling on a mission to Israel with “Crafting for a Cure” was magical, emotional, spiritual, extremely overwhelming and inspirational in every which way possible.
Hailing from Fort Erie, Ontario, Gracie Kohinski is very excited to be part of the Smiles for All Team. Currently training and teaching at Peacock School of Dance in a variety of styles, Gracie is excited to share her love of dance with people of all ages. Starting her first year with Crafting for a Cure, she is astonished by the work the charity has done and is committed to sharing it with many. In September, she will be attending Brock University for history concurrent to her dance training.
I have been volunteering with Crafting for a Cure for almost 20 years and I have to say being at Shaare Tzedek Hospital is truly a one of a kind experience. Everyone is so warm and appreciative for all we do.
Rachel Barak is a classically trained dancer from King, Ontario who has been pursuing ballet for 13 years now. She is currently in her final year of high school, and has two years of experience teaching ballet to kids aged 4-11 years old at Karpov Ballet Academy, Valentina’s Dance Studio, and Love 2 Dance Studio. She is also part of a program for a charity called Crafting for A Cure. The program, called Smiles For All, has ballerinas like Rachel come to hospitals around the GTA to perform for the patients, staff, and visitors.
Cara has been dancing since she was 6 years old. Born in Haiti, and adopted at the age of 3, she was able to enroll at Victoria Ballet Academy at 18. There, she had the opportunity to get professional training and participate in professional productions of The Nutcracker and Cinderella. She graduated from Seneca College, earning my ECE diploma. She is currently working as a teacher's assistant with a child with special needs. "I feel so blessed to have joined a group of heartfelt, compassionate and talented dancers through the smiles for all team and to be able to share my love of ballet with patients in need of a distraction. I am inspired by Pamela's, Michelle's and Naiomi's dedication to the charity and their leadership to our group. I would like to thank my teachers, family and friends who have supported me and helped me become the dancer and individual I am today."
Ustat is a certified Yoga Teacher (CYA-RYT 350) with the Canadian Yoga Alliance and she completed her yoga training in Italy from Rainbow Yoga in 2018. She has been actively involved in the community for the past 9 years as she facilitates recreational sports, dance, yoga programs and classes for the City of Mississauga. Ustat is a graduate from Brock University with a Bachelor's Degree in Child and Youth Studies. She has been volunteering with Crafting for a Cure since 2015 and was the President of Brock Crafting for a Cure at her university. Her passion for dance developed further at Cawthra Park Secondary School where she completed the Ontario Regional Arts Dance Program for Ballet and Modern dance styles. Her Bollywood dance experience comes from her training with Shiamak Davar Toronto. Ustat dedicates her time to the charity to share her love for dance and bring smiles to patients in hospitals. She believes that dance is a powerful tool that has the capability to transform a hospital setting into a magical and positive experience for further healing or a moment of happiness for families.
Thea Burke-Warling is one of the ballerinas from the ‘Smiles for All’ program. She has been with the charity for 2 years, and is currently in grade 10 in the dance program at Westmount Collegiate Institute. She has been dancing almost her whole life, but only started dancing competitively when she was 10. She has always loved ballet and has been taking ballet classes since she was little. This charity has given her the opportunity to do something she’s passionate about while helping people in need.
Daniela Korsunsky is a ballerina for the ‘Smiles For All’ ballerinas. she has been part of this wonderful charity for 2 years now and more years to come. She is in grade 10 at Westmount Collegiate Institute and is part of the dance program as dance is one of the most important things to her even though she has left her competitive team. Ballet is a style she’s always enjoyed dancing and this charity has given her a perfect chance to still dance what she enjoys and put smiles on people's faces. it’s a great feeling and she is very glad to be a part of this amazing charity.