SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) — It was a night of dancing in support of people with intellectual disabilities at the Sheraton Springfield on Saturday evening.

The Let’s Dance! fundraiser supports Pathlight, a Springfield-based organization that serves more than 1,000 people with intellectual and development disabilities. Saturday night’s fundraiser showcased dance performances where Pathlight clients were paired with people from the community, they formed a team and put on a show at the Sheraton!

The goal was to raise twenty-five thousand dollars through this fundraiser and that goal has been surpassed. 22News spoke to a member of Pathlight about how this event builds lasting relationships.

“Well, part of it is, it allows our participants to do stuff that they really enjoy doing, helps them really to be integrated into their community, make connections with people, build relationships with people. So, some of the people they are dancing with they have never met before, they’ve practiced over months and they get to build connections and relationships that may last a lifetime,” expressed Denise Congman, the Chair of the Pathlight Board.

Pathlight was founded in 1952 by five mothers with children with developmental disabilities who wanted to change the notion that developmentally challenged people needed to live in institutions, away from their family.

Since then they have pioneered services for people with developmental disabilities, and have expanded to include schools, group homes, and services that place children and adults into homes to help them live outside of institutions.

If you would like to learn more about Pathlight, or help their cause you can head over to their website. They also have an online auction running until November 30th.

Alanna Flood is a reporter who has been a part of the 22News team since 2022. Follow Alanna on X @alannafloodnews and view her bio to see more of her work.