By Wayne Allen
Hot on the success of the 17th Annual Heroes Breakfast, the Ohio River Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross announced the 2016 lineup of dancers for its annual Dancing With Our Stars event. Plans for the annual event are underway, and organizers thought it was important to let the community know the celebrity dancers.
The 2016 dancers include Dr. Jessica Suber of SOMC; singer/songwriter Rick Ferrell; Ashley Schwamberger, firefighter with the Portsmouth Fire Department; Tim Wells, co-owner of Shawnee Animal Clinic; Ryan Hall, Assistant Vice President WesBanco in Jackson; local dentists Dr. Amy Heim and Dr. Teresa Martin; Chris Keeton, APRN with KDMC Ohio; along with Jessica McGraw, local school teacher; and local Realtor Nick Rutman.
According to released information, Dancing With Our Stars pairs 10 local owners and community personalities with a semi-professional dancer who will assist the star in the selection of music and choreography. The stars compete for votes in the form of donations to the Red Cross. One dollar equals one vote and the person with the most money raised will be awarded the Dancing With Our Stars Fundraising Mirror Ball trophy.
Event coordinator Vicky Hatcher noted that many of the dancers are already beginning to organize fundraising events.
Organizers with Dancing With Our Stars will hold a community kick-off event on Nov. 6 from 5-7:30 p.m. at the Elks City Club. Over the course of the kick-off even.t there will be a dance competition that will serve as an audition.
“We still need a couple of more male ‘Pro Dancers’,” Hatcher said.
The 2015 Dancing With Our Stars raised nearly $180,000 to support the local Red Cross Chapter. Neal Hatcher and Elizabeth Scott walked away with the Mirror Ball Fundraising Trophy. Hatcher was the top fundraiser with a record $105,416.00.
The 2016 Dancing With Our Stars event is scheduled for March 19, 2016, at the SOMC Friends Community Center.
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.
Anyone interested in filling one of the vacant spots as a dancer is encouraged to contact the Red Cross office at 740-354-3293 for further information.
For more information about the Ohio River Valley American Red Cross visit 1801 Robinson Ave. Portsmouth OH, call 740-354-3293, or find them on Facebook.
This story originally appeared in the Portsmouth Daily Times.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT