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Dance school comes to aid of accident victim

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CARTHAGE — Reeling from the tragic accident that occurred Friday evening, mothers of students from the Amy Earle School of Dance stepped up to aid another dance mom.

Maria J. Johnson, 2-year-old daughter of James and Wilhelmina Johnson, Roberts Road, died Friday evening of injuries suffered in a motor vehicle accident on Route 45 in the town of Champion.

Despite being only 2 years old Maria was a “super” student of the dance school, owner and instructor Amy Earle said. “We absolutely adored ‘Baby Maria.’ She was a very good dancer — so good, I moved her out of the toddler group into the 3- to 5-year-old group,” Ms. Earle said. “Maria came to dance two nights a week and always wore a signature yellow tutu.”

Before Sunday’s 2013 Holiday Dance Recital at the Dulles State Office Building in Watertown, Ms. Earle was approached by Nancy Draper and Lyndsey Hodkinson about taking up a collection for the Johnson family. Ms. Earle agreed and more than $300 was collected Sunday. Since then, more was added, with the total now nearly $450. The funds will be used to help defray funeral costs and travel costs for the Johnson family.

Ms. Earle will set up a scholarship for one year of dance lessons at her school for “a child who could not otherwise afford the lessons.”

The family has requested donations be made to the Amy Earle School of Dance.

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