HANFORD — The pandemic hasn’t been kind to performing arts anywhere in the country — and P.A.T.Y.’Studio is no exception.
Started in 2009 by Patricia Diaz as a means of promoting the Gospel and teaching good ethics through and alongside dancing, Praise Arts Talent Youth has been active in the community for over a decade and always going strong, but COVID-19 took a hefty toll on Diaz and her dancers. Suddenly, the events they used to recruit new members were cancelled, while social distancing requirements also put a stop their efforts to raise funds.
“It was definitely a drastic change, but I think that we adapted well and we’re slowly seeing ourselves get out of it and I’m very hopeful and still thankful to God that little-by-little, we’ll go back to where we need to be,” Diaz said.
As Kings County enters orange tier and things begin to open up again, the outlook for P.A.T.Y.’s is positive, but with their finances taking a hit, they needed help to be able to afford entrance to their first competition since the pandemic began. That’s where Oh So Clean stepped in.
Opened earlier this month at 741 E. Grangeville Blvd., owner Randy Maugé, wanted to introduce himself to the Hanford community with a bit of charity and community service. Reaching out to the Hanford Chamber of Commerce for suggestions, P.AT.Y.’Studio was suggested to Maugé, who immediately took to their cause.
“My kids were always involved in different sports and my daughter was involved in dance growing up,” Maugé said. “So I know how it is when you have people trying to dance and families, and you have five kids or you have a number of kids and everyone’s in some kind of sport or something and they’re trying to raise money…so I figure that’s a good charity to partner with so those kids can get that experience be out there and see what it’s like to compete.”
For their grand opening, Oh So Clean gave away free washes from April 1 through April 5, with customers being encouraged to donate to P.A.T.Y.’Studio. The girls were also there to collect donations. The efforts resulted in over $3,000, enough to pay for their entrance in the Thunderstruck Dance Competition in Fresno in May. It will also help pay for danceware and costumes.
“All of our girls are going to be fully funded to go compete this May,” Diaz said. “And it just felt beautiful to know that the community kind of got together for us and did this for us and so, it just feels good to know there’s a support system we’re blessed with everyone who supported our team dancers and PS.”
Oh So Clean presented Diaz and her dancers with the check at a special presentation on Friday evening. Maugé says his team intends to do more charity events like this in the future.