Daughter’s Fundraiser in Memory of Her Father has Raised More than $25,000 for Cancer Research

Writer  /  Matt Roberts

Dennis Trackwell passed away on August 1, 2013 of complications from Multiple Myeloma, a cancer that forms in plasma cells. His family first suspected something was wrong in 2006.

His youngest daughter, Center Grove resident Devon Scott, remembers that he was in familiar surroundings — sharing jokes and stories with friends and family around a pool.

“He was laughing and said, ‘don’t make me laugh, my side is hurting’,” Scott says. “And we found out he had a broken rib. Broken bones are a side effect of the disease, so they started testing him for myeloma. None of us had ever heard of it.” 

A month after his death, Scott made a simple request of family and friends.

“He loved to dance and have a good time,” she says. “He always had a positive attitude and was just a happy-go-lucky person. Anytime you mentioned his name, people would say, ‘Oh, I love Dennis.’ So, I just told people on Facebook that whatever you’re doing today, play your favorite song and dance like you don’t have a care in the world. And if anybody asks, just say you’re dancing for Dennis.

“People started sending me all these pictures and videos, and it made me feel so good,” Scott adds. “I knew when he was dying that I wanted to do something. We originally thought of a 5K run, because he loved to walk.  But, that’s not everyone’s cup of tea. But everybody likes to go out and have a good time.”

As a result, the Dancing for Dennis fundraiser was born and has grown to include hundreds of people while raising more than $25,000 for research into the disease. This year’s version is scheduled for August 12 at Primo’s Banquet Hall located at 2615 National Avenue in Indianapolis. Last year, the crowd numbered more than 400, and Scott expects more than 450 guests this year.

“Last year we had two of the rooms at Primo’s, and this year we’ll have all four,” Scott says. “We have a kids area, and it’s a family-friendly event.”

Admission includes dinner, a silent auction and – of course – dancing. The auction features a variety of items, such as furniture and autographed sports memorabilia.

Scott started the event with her family, but the increasing attendance has resulted in the formation of a 10-person committee that works year-round.

Dancing for Dennis and other fundraisers are helping scientists work toward a cure.

“The doctors have told us that they’re very close,” Scott says. “They’ve just started a new immunotherapy treatment plan that they’re very positive about.”

Tickets to Dancing for Dennis are available at dancingfordennis.weebly.com or at Primo on the big night. Individuals and businesses interested in supporting the fundraiser can find out more at facebook.com/dancingfordennis.

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