Utica, NY (WIBX) - Children with special needs who take part in a dance program at The Mohawk Valley Ballet Company are recipients of a $2,000 grant from Price Chopper and it was all thanks to the work of a New Hartford senior, Emily Smith who applied for the funding.

Smith is also the Senior Dancer at The Mohawk Valley Ballet Company and said she submitted the application for the grant to Price Chopper Pepsi Refresh Project to help support the work of the Dance Discoveries Program the kids take part in. She said, "The money is going to help the children pay for leotards, tights and shoes and then also, they are going to be allowed to go to the Nutcracker performance that the Mohawk Valley Ballet is setting up in September." Smith said it took her a day to fill out the application because she fully understood the mission and concept of the Dance Discoveries Program.

Smith has been a dancer with the ballet company since the age of 3. She accepted the award at the Price Chopper in South Utica during a media event. The Mohawk Valley Ballet Company is the only professional ballet organization in the area.