DWOS surpasses goal

Dancing With our Stars participants: (left to right) Mary Arnzen, hostess for the event; Dr. Steven Rader, ORV Red Cross Board Chair’ Debbie Smith, ORV Red Cross Community Executive Director; Dr. Jerod Walker and his wife Stacey, winners of the Judges’ Choice Award; and Jeremy Burnside, host for the show.

The 5th season of Dancing With Our Stars benefitting the Ohio River Valley American Red Cross surpassed all expectations. “Although all the numbers are not in, together with the amazing efforts of our star and professional dancers, sponsors, and the support of the community, we are safe to say that more than $250,000 in net revenue was raised to support Red Cross programs and services in our local community”, said Debbie Smith Community Executive Director.

The ballroom at the SOMC Friend’s Center was alive and filled with excitement as guests arrived for the social hour followed by a dinner catered by Flavors by SODEXO and cupcakes from 83 Sweets. The crowd was ready for the main event when Host Jeremy Burnside and Hostess Mary Arnzen hit the stage and introduced Judges Stephanie Shafer, Richard Risby and Henry Allen.

Taking home the 2017 Mirror Ball Trophy was Dr. Kemmely Hochstetler and her partner, local pediatrician and professional dancer, Dr. John Turjoman who mesmerized the audience with their “Fusion of Sorts”. A Family Medicine physician with Southern Ohio Medical Center, Kemmely raised more than $91,758.00 to support the Red Cross. In her quest for the coveted mirror ball, Kemmely spent endless hours securing sponsors and supporters for the Red Cross as well as planning and presenting events to entertain a variety of age groups and interests. Winner of the People’s Choice Award and first runner up for the Mirror Ball Trophy was Kevin Hoops, owner of Impressive Studios and his partner Sarah Martin with their rendition of the SNL Spartan Cheerleader Dance. Their spirited routine had the crowd on their feet cheering. Kevin not only worked hard on his dance routine during the past nine months, but also contributed hours of planning and presenting numerous fund raising events to help raise $69,884.00 on his behalf to benefit the local Red Cross. Second runner up for the Mirror Ball Trophy was Senior Staff Accountant with Dever and Company Rachel Perry. Rachel raised nearly $31,000 to support the local Red Cross. Rachel and her husband Keenan aka “Magic Mike” pleased the audience with their sultry cabaret routine. Winner of the Judges Choice Award was the husband- wife team of Dr. Jerod Walker of KDMC Ohio and Stacey performing a vivacious Swing to the 60’s hit “Peggy Sue”.

This year’s dancers presented a wide range of dances to thrill the audience. Local entrepreneur and insurance agent Sean Boldman and his veteran partner Autumn Dowdy with a thrilling jazz routine to “Live and Let Die”. Tarrah Bouts, licensed Esthetician and owner of Amelia Gray Skincare and her partner Aaron Payne presented a whimsical Swing/Fox Trot combo as Marilyn Monroe and Elvis. Bryan Smith, Account Executive for Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth, and veteran dancer Elizabeth Scott entertained the crowd with their Jive from Grease. Owner of Sonora Mexican Grill, Martin Miranda teamed up with experienced ballroom dancer, Vicki Pierron to present a saucy Cumbia/Salsa. Toni Dengel, Marketing Program Officer for the Scioto Foundation, and her partner Chad Welch with an exotic Adagio.

Since 2017 is not only the fifth anniversary of Dancing With our Stars but also the 100th Anniversary of the Ohio River Valley Red Cross, a group of alumni dancers presented Dancing Through the Century with renditions typical to each era. Guests were taken back to the roaring 20’s with a Charleston presented by Dianne Coriell-Rice and Wendi Waugh. The Red Cross assisted many families in the area during the Flood of 1937 which devastated Scioto County thirties. This era was known as the Jazz Age. Autumn Dowdy preformed the Swing to Bennie Goodman’s famous “Sing, Sing, Sing”. World War II broke out in the forties and local Red Cross volunteers were kept busy assisting servicemen and their families at home and abroad. Known as the Boogie Woogie period, Julie Blackburn and Gerald Cadogan boogied to the Andrews Sister’s hit “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”.

The movie Grease was one of the top Broadway musicals and later a movie in 1978 Krista Putnam and Chris Keeton had the fans clapping their hands with their presentation of the “Hand Jive”. The sixties were known for rock and roll and although many felt the twist was too provocative, it became the craze when Chubby Checker presented his version at the Rainbow Club in 1960. Portsmouth’s King of twist – Neal Hatcher and his partner Gina Chabot performed their version of the twist at the Friends Center!

During the ‘70s, the chapter responded to the Vietnam War, by assisting families of armed services personnel, delivering emergency messages and making and sending ditty bags to servicemen overseas. “YMCA” was not only a popular song, but a popular dance. Portsmouth’s “Village People”. Elizabeth Blevins, Heather Cate, Richard Risby and Wendi Waugh had the crowd join in this group dance.

The local chapter celebrated the 100th anniversary of the National American Red Cross in 1981.Whimsical dance moves were popular and alums Rita Prose, Debbie Kielmar and Dianne Coriell-Rice presented “Walk Like an Egyptian”. Boy bands were the craze in the 90’s. Portsmouth’s self-proclaimed “best damn man band in the land” including Jeremy Burnside Ladd Dunham, Dr. Jesse Houghton, Jared Jenkins and Nick Rutman rocked the crowd with their rendition of “Everybody”. A new millennium arrived and we are now heading into another 100 years of caring and service for our local Red Cross. The future promises an exciting venture not only through the world of music and dance but for the mission of the local Red Cross as they continue to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors The Ohio River Valley American Red Cross serves Scioto, Jackson, Pike, Adams, Lawrence and Brown counties.

Joining the event’s lead sponsor, Southern Ohio Medical Center were area businesses and community members: The Glockner Family of Dealerships, Impressive Studios, Neal and Vicky Hatcher, Dever and Company, Doctors Marion Hochstetler and Jeremiah Martin, Fluor B & W Portsmouth, The Party Connection and the law office of Jeremy Burnside, OSCO Industries, WesBanco, Scioto Smiles, 83 Sweets, Gambill & Associates, Amelia Gray, Rutman-Burnside Real Estate Group, KDMC Ohio , Portsmouth Rotary Club, Portia Spradlin All State Insurance, Gracie Plum, Valley Wholesale Foods and Real Estate Gallery, Solid Rock Construction, Dr. Jerod and Stacey Walker, SOMC Gastroenterology Associates, Debbie and Bryan Smith, and Amy Heim, DDS . A big thank you also to media partners The Portsmouth Daily Times ,WNXT 99.3 and the Pulse 98.3FM for their promotional support.

OU Southern Electronic Media Club did another outstanding job as our technical team and DJ Frankie Frank provided music for this year’s event. The Star’s video introductions produced by Andrew Dodson Photography were entertaining. Donating their time and services were The Ritz; Trina Bender of Studio 32 and her make-up artists and hair designers as well as Jacquelyn Shively of Beautifully Bronze. Photographer and Image Consultant, Terry Horner operated the photo booth.

Melanie Manchester and her stage and lighting crew made sure everything ran smoothly throughout the evening as did Kelli Richardson who steered the numerous volunteers assisting at the event. In addition, the official vote tabulators from DESCO Federal Credit Union did an excellent job under the direction of Kara Tieman. It took more than 100 volunteers working together to make the show a huge success!

DVD’s of the show may be ordered by contacting the local Red Cross office at 354-3293. Anyone interested in participating in Dancing With Our Stars 2018 scheduled for March 24th at the Friends Community Center should contact the local Red Cross office.

Proceeds from the event support local disaster prevention, preparation and relief, the life-saving training of first aid, CPR/AED classes, collection and testing of blood and blood products, support to military members serving around the globe, the transportation program, and international programs.