Dancers take the floor for The ARK
Over four hundred people came out Saturday to watch local celebrities strut their stuff in the Third Annual Dancing with the ARK's Stars event held at Pinewood Prep. Each celebrity was paired with a professional dancer from Carolina Dancesport for the event.
Celebrities putting on a show for the enthusiastic crowd included Mildred Blanton, Cammy Groome, Margie Pizarro, Ellen Priest, Con Chellis, Bill Summers, Jordy Tupper, and Richard Waring IV.
Please see youtube links below of each performer and their dance partner in action.
Audience members cheered their favorites on as each couple took to the dance floor to show off their newfound dance skills. Dancers have spent the last two months learning their routines from dancers with Carolina Dancesport, located on Wallace School Rd. in West Ashley.
- Retired realtor Blanton did the Tango/Cha-Cha with professional dancer Jaime Emerine (http://youtu.be/wud0ibbYWOI)
- Newington Elementary School Principal Groome did the Swing with professional dancer Josh Ortiz (http://youtu.be/YIyfaP_G7ZI)
- Attorney Pizarro did the Cha-Cha with professional dancer Chris McCandlish (http://youtu.be/603Kn0xV03Y)
- Summerville Communications Publisher Priest did the Salsa with professional dancer Josh Ortiz (http://youtu.be/q7Nnu_IU6e0)
- Allstate Insurance Agency Owner Chellis did the Rumba/Swing with professional dancer Lorna Parkinson (http://youtu.be/uHT38bFtkDY)
- Vision Finance Group Director and VP Summers did the Swing with professional dancer Teresa Rogers (http://youtu.be/owtEdkjRFZg)
- G. Tupper III Construction Contractor Tupper did a Country Novelty dance with professional dancer Lorna Parkinson (http://youtu.be/PdT696ciIdU)
- Summerville Fire Dept. Chief Waring, did the Foxtrot with professional dancer Monica Emerine (http://youtu.be/fkyX55Ug6HA)
After the first two rounds of dances, the top scorers moved to the final round. Chellis, Priest, and Tupper danced a second time for the Judges' Choice Trophy. Chellis' Rumba/Swing got the judges' vote for best of the night and he and dance partner Parkinson took home the coveted trophy.
Votes were made by friends, family, and business associates of the celebrities, both in advance and at the event. All money raised goes to support the ARK's programs, which provide hope and relief to families living with Alzheimer's disease or other related dementia through family support services, including respite care, support groups, caregiver consultation, education, resource referrals, a speakers bureau, lunch and learn program, and NOAH (Neighborhood Outreach Alzheimer's Help).
The Peoples' Choice Trophy was awarded at the end of the night to dancer Blanton, who collected a jaw-dropping 800 votes, raising over $8,500 in support of the ARK's programs. All total, the eight dancers raised over $27,000.
The final total raised at the event is still being tabulated.
Cheryl Moniz, development director for the ARK said that they were delighted with the outstanding success of Dancing with the ARK's Stars this year. “We have amazing sponsors, and our dancers really stepped up,” Moniz said. “Not only were they entertaining, but they have really raised the bar for next year's dancers!”
The mirror ball sponsor for the second year in a row was Mary and Sam Blunt. Mary Blunt serves as Dorchester County Probate Judge. Her mother Dr. Lidia Vallarino, an esteemed chemistry professor, suffers from Alzheimer's and is a visitor to the ARK.
Master of ceremonies for the event was Steve Mandell, Head of School for Pinewood Prep, who kept the event moving throughout the evening.
Serving as judges at the event were last year's Peoples' Choice winner Dr. Bob Randall, last year's Judges' Choice winner Attorney Elizabeth Hight, and Jan Heaton.
In addition to the dancing, guests bid on silent auction items throughout the evening, enjoyed open dancing, heavy hors d'oeuvres, and an open bar.
To see photos from the event, visit http://journalscene.mycapture.com/mycapture/index.asp