WCPO anchor Ryan Houston is dancing for a cause

Posted at 5:44 PM, Oct 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-23 21:26:43-04

LOVELAND, Ohio -- If you didn't see Katie Hodapp's hearing aid, you'd probably never know she had one.

Katie, 6, was born hearing-impaired. She recites the alphabet with her classmates and dances ballet in recitals.

Her mother, Libby, credits Ohio Valley of Voices for Katie's success.

The school teaches students who are deaf how to communicate in the world. The cost for schooling and other therapy can be up to $30,000 a year. Insurance pays just a small portion.

Libby reached out to Building Blocks for Kids, which helped pay for part of Katie's schooling. The organization helps parents of children with disabilities pay for tuition, gas, food and other related expenses.

"I opened the letter and I sat on the side of the step, and I cried," Libby Hodapp said. "Like I said, you don't want anything to happen to your child, but I also don't want my child's disability to affect my other kids."

Dynette Clark, Building Blocks for Kids' executive director, said there's been so much demand, her organization has had to turn away families lately.

"For the first 10 years, we were able to help every child that came to our door," Clark said. "The last few years, we have a waiting list of up to 60 to 70 kids."

WCPO anchor Ryan Houston is raising money for Building Blocks for Kids in the Dance With Your Heart Charity Gala.

The charity gala is Saturday, Nov. 11 at The Syndicate in Newport. Tickets start at $100. The theme is "A Night in Paris."

Houston -- who hosts "The Now Cincinnati" weekdays at 4 p.m. -- has been preparing since August.

Below: See the early days of dance rehearsal.