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Benefit supports beloved dance teacher

David Adlerstein
The Apalachicola Times

It didn’t take long for a fried mullet benefit for Pam Nobles on Saturday morning at Riverfront Park to sell out.

Pam Nobles, in blue, at center, stands with her many supporters after Saturday's fish fry benefit.

Organized by the sheriff’s office, with lots of law enforcement personnel helping out together with an outpouring of friends from throughout the county, the benefit was done to raise money for the popular dance studio owner, whose four decades of teaching the art of movement and dance has established one of the county’s most influential and longlasting cultural institutions.

Nobles was diagnosed not long ago with a brain tumor and is slated to have surgery Monday in Alabama.

She had to close out her downtown Apalachicola studio earlier in the week, sharing scores of photos on Facebook of the many girls, young ladies and women who learned with, performed for and benefited from Nobles’ teaching.

Pam Nobles, together with two of her dance students, Baylee Kent, left, and Ella Luberto.

A resolution sponsored earlier this month by Apalachicola Commissioner Anita Grove, and approved unanimously, was presented to Nobles, who also has long had a day named in her honor.

She “has instructed and inspired hundreds of children and adults in the city of Apalachicola over the past 39 years providing thousands of hours of dance and exercise classes to children ages 18 months to well into adulthood therefore increasing the quality of life in our community,” read the resolution. “(She has) produced creative and entertaining annual and holiday recitals guiding her students in showcasing their skills to family and community. These performances allowed students to build confidence, coordination, and creativity

“Ms. Pam Nobles fostered her student’s talent helping them choregraph routines, enter competitions and successfully compete in dance competitions throughout the Southeast,” the resolution continued. “(She) has spent countless hours performing in community events with her students at the annual Apalachicola Christmas Celebration, the Florida Seafood Festival, homecoming parades, and most notably the Oyster Cookoff fundraiser for the Apalachicola Volunteer Fire Department where she leads volunteer firefighters in an annual dance routine that is the highlight of the event,” it read.

Following the conclusion of the benefit, Sheriff A.J. Smith presented proceeds of $8,000 to Nobles, who will need every cent of it as she battles a life-threatening illness that can quickly deplete a family’s entire bank account.

On Monday, Nobles and her husband, Michael Grantham, traveled to Birmingham, Alabama to meet with Dr. Winfield Fisher III at the University of Alabama.

The renowned neurosurgeon is slated to remove the large tumor on Monday, August 31, with the other smaller tumors to be treated with radiation and chemotherapy.

“I am asking for lots of prayers,” Nobles wrote on Facebook. “I have asked the doctors if they believe In God. They said yes and are Christians. I am very scared and I know that I have to trust God. This will be only the second time I am having surgery and will stay in ICU and then a room, hopefully for one night.”

Nobles will be leaving in Birmingham for six weeks while she undergoes treatment.

“My life and world is really changing I really need my community to reach out to me when you can,” she wrote. “Love you lots.”