'A Winter Ballet' to honor Abby Anderson's life

On Saturday, Dec. 6, Gillian, Charles and Ben Anderson will join with the Performing Arts Center of Connecticut in asking the community to celebrate the holidays in a way that supports the community and honors the memory of 15 year-old Trumbull resident Abby Anderson.

At this year’s A Winter Ballet, 150 dancers and singers from the Performing Arts Center will join together and dedicate their performances in memory of Abby. Proceeds from the 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. performances at the Trumbull High School auditorium will go to the Abby Anderson Scholarship Fund.

“We come together to celebrate Abby’s life because it mattered and her story matters, “ said Catherine LaChioma, executive director of the Performing Arts Center of Connecticut, located in Trumbull. “This is the season of giving, of generosity and gratitude. It is also the time of year when the spirit of the holidays moves us to be the best of what we are — when we open our arms, our hearts and our homes and share with those around us who are in need.”

Abby, a sophomore and varsity cheerleader at Trumbull High, took her life last June, after battling with clinical depression.

Throughout Abby’s 15 years she was passionate about the arts, according to Gillian Anderson. Drawn to ballet, hip-hop, singing, music, acting, poetry, and painting, she wanted to do it all, her family said.

“As a little girl, she was completely mesmerized by the dance troupe at PACC and would sit on Catherine LaChioma’s lap for hours and hours soaking up the high energy, creative environment with excitement,” her mother said. “As Abby grew older, she was an inspiration to us all with her athleticism, strength, fearlessness, creativity, and ironically, her zest for life.”

Abby was a ray of sunshine on the outside, even though she was eventually diagnosed with clinical depression. Her family took the right steps, with Abby having talk therapy and supervised medications.

While honoring Abby’s life, her friends and family hope to get people talking freely about depression, in order to erase the stigma and help those who suffer in silence.

Before Abby’s death, she turned in an assignment to her English teacher that was a bucket list. One of the goals on that list was to “help others in a big way.”

“Candidates for the Abby Anderson Scholarship Fund at Trumbull High School will inspire us by their determination to help others in a big way,” her family said. “They will be cheerleaders in life and show dedication that represents the ideals that Abby emulated so well during her short life.”

All are welcome to celebrate Abby’s life and memory at A Winter Ballet on Saturday, Dec. 6, at 1 p.m. or 7 p.m. at Trumbull High School, 72 Strobel Road. Reserved seats, $20. For information, to purchase tickets or to donate to the Abby Anderson Scholarship Fund, call 203-372-ARTS. Tickets will be on sale Monday, Dec. 1, through Thursday, Dec. 4, at the Performing Arts Center of Connecticut and at the Trumbull High School box office on the day of the performance.