Dancing With the Sandhills Stars to Return

Published Nov 26, 2010 – The Pilot

Once again local celebrities will take to the stage and dance to raise money for local mentoring programs in the second annual Dancing with the Sandhills Stars, to be held Jan. 30, at the Carolina Hotel.

Although the event itself does not take place until January 2011, the dancers are already out raising money through “votes” cast on their behalf. A “vote” costs $10 and can be cast at the official Dancing with the Sandhills Stars website, www.sandhillsstars.com, or via the mail. The monies raised will benefit Communities In Schools and Moore Buddies.

Sixteen dancing couples will be competing for the most votes. The dancers include Chris Metzger, Donna Andrews, Dan Askins, Danielle Hinesley, Justin Bode, Kathy Parson, Darrell Simpkins, Meredith Clifton, Paul Dent, Heidi Dent, Rahmean Kamalbake, Carol Dowd, Chris Dunn, Karen Wicker, Caroline Eddy, Ben Eddy, Pete Gulley, Marianne Kernan, Dr. Phil Benton, Robyn James, John Kranhert III, Alicia Hill, Koley Keel, Michele Keel, Tony Paz, Peggy Miller, Patrick Mincey, Beth St. John, Tom Stafford, Lisa Stafford, John Tampa and Julie Tampa.

“To keep things fresh, we have changed the dancing program so it will be completely different this year. We have a new venue, new dancers, new judges, new ‘half-time’ entertainment and a new emcee” says event co-chair Holly Floyd. “The show will be lots of fun and should move along at a lively pace.”

Last year the sold-out show had more than 350 people in attendance and 100 people more volunteered before and during the event. More than $100,000 was raised last year for the two local mentoring programs.

“We are hoping to beat last year’s numbers,” says event co-chair and last year’s Dancing with the Stars winner Cathy Smith. “The dancers have already begun their training at Fred Astaire Studios and are already out raising money for votes. Plus, we can seat quite a few more guests at the Carolina Hotel this year.”

Tickets for the show are now on sale. They can be purchased through the Dancing with the Sandhills Stars website or via the mail.

“Get a group of friends together to come cheer on your favorite dancer couple. It really is a fun evening,” suggested Smith. “But get your tickets early, since last year the show sold out quickly.”

The winner will be decided based on the amount of money raised through the $10 votes.

“If you cannot attend the show itself, you can cast your votes for your favorite dance team and help them win,” says Smith. “Voting early and often is highly encouraged.”

“This is truly a community-wide event; everyone can participate in some way,” says Floyd. “In the end, the money raised goes to support two very important local organizations that focus on helping our most important local resource: our children.”

For more information on the Dancing with the Sandhills Stars program, to cast votes, learn more about the dancers or purchase tickets contact Communities In Schools at (910) 295-1072, Moore Buddies at (910) 400-5236 or visit the program website www.sandhillsstars.com.

Communities In Schools is the nation’s leading community-based organization helping kids stay in school, succeed in school and be better prepared for life. CIS initiatives and programs that impact students in Moore County Schools include the COMPASS mentoring program, CIS FirstSchool Garden programs and the Hospitality & Golf Career Academy.

Moore Buddies’ mission is to nurture youth, support their parents and strengthen their families. Moore Buddies matches youth to positive adult mentors to promote the development of healthy personal values and to provide families with education and techniques for building strong family bonds.

Both organizations share the common goal of helping a child succeed through a relationship with a caring adult and are United Way agencies.