SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - A silent auction at the Wilmington Island Farmers Market Saturday raised money for the family of Kate McKay, a 9-year-old dancer who had leukemia and passed away in April.
Kate was a dancer at Gretchen Greene School of Dance. The studio and her fellow dancers helped organize the fundraiser to pay for her family's medical bills and funeral expenses.
"We're all really sad, but we want to make sure that we're always remembering her," said Arianna Gavrilas, a Gretchen Greene dancer. "So at recital, we played a little video for her like a little memory. We're always dancing for her and we're always missing her."
Her fellow dancers created "Dance for Kate" ribbons to support her during her battle with leukemia. The young women continued to wear them on their costumes in competitions throughout 2018 to carry on her memory. Jameson Stafford, a Gretchen Greene dancer, said after Kate's death, the ribbons took on a new meaning to dance like Kate, not just for her.
"She would work hard and she would do everything she can," Stafford said. "She would dance every day and practice all the time. She would take every opportunity she got, and just to dance like her is to do what we can to do our best."
Kate's friends say she was hardworking and kind, and they want her legacy to live on.
"I think her legacy means to me she was such a kind person and danced with her heart, and I think that's important that we do the same and dance with her like she did and just as a team and together," said Talia Dobbins, another Gretchen Greene dancer.
Items are still for sale on the Facebook event page. The money raised will be totaled next week, and a check will be delivered to the McKay family. The Wilmington Island Farmers Market estimates the auction raised at least $3,000.