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Bense Family Foundation

Hurricane Michael Relief For Dance Families


Hurricane Michael roared through the Florida Panhandle a month ago and caused devastation throughout our cities.  Many of you have contacted me and expressed a desire to help in some way. We are happy to share our plan with those of you who would like to help as we find that the majority of our dance students have been impacted in such a way that they may not be able to return to dance. Everyone is facing multiple complications as many have lost their homes, contents and means of transportation. Schools have struggled with a plan to reopen as many were destroyed. There is a lack of normalcy in our daily lives that is difficult for both children and adults as daily life has changed dramatically.  We are slowly beginning to turn the corner. Tonie’s Dance Workshop has two locations. Our Stanford studio will have to be  totally rebuilt while our Callaway/Parker location has very minor damage. We are happy to be able to offer complimentary lessons to both our STANFORD AND PARKER students with a revised schedule merging the two studios for the time being. Monday, November 5th, will be our new FIRST DAY. The new schedule can be found here for our returning students and new students will also be welcomed. 

I am so proud of my entire staff as they have all agreed to return to work even though half of them have been displaced which makes life complicated. Every teacher and staff member is enthusiastically preparing to bring some SUNSHINE back to our dancers and dancing families by providing hugs and the JOY of dancing once again. It will be a little piece of normal for everyone as we reunite and make sure that everyone gets the support they need. We will come back strong one step at a time.

Those of you that would like to make a donation to assist our students and their families may do so through the Bense Family Foundation, 501c3 nonprofit. You can mail a check or gift cards to Publix, Walmart, Target, Home Depot,  Lowe’s (some ideas) to Bense Family Foundation at 1405 W. Beach Drive, Panama City, Florida 32401. 100% of the donations will go to families affected by hurricane Michael. I can assure you that your money will be well spent. 

Your encouraging words and the care that you share is greatly appreciated. 

Thank you so much,

Tonie Bense


The Bense Family Foundation was formed in 2003 by Allan Bense, who represented Bay County as State Representative from 1998 -2006. He served as Speaker of the House from 2004-2006, the only person from Bay County to ever serve in that position .

Allan was born and raised in Panama City and therefore his heart and soul is rooted in his Bay County.  His years as a public servant and businessman allowed him the opportunity to set up a Foundation to support those in need in Northwest Florida. Over the years contributions from the Foundation have helped hard working families who have experienced hard times and need a hand, the Empty Stocking Fund, Bay Education Foundation, and many, many other causes.

The Foundation has no overhead, no employees, and all money donated to the Foundation goes directly to help those in need. 

The Foundation is a 501 (C)(3) Charity. Contributions are tax deductible.

See Photos from our Stanford Studio Below:

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