DWOS pairs raising money for win

Dancers for the Ohio River Valley American Red Cross are looking forward to the sixth season of “Dancing With Our Stars,” happening just around the corner.

The 2018 event is taking a new twist. This year’s dance pairs are selecting a song from their favorite Broadway musical and choreographing an appropriate routine to “wow” the audience. Dancers will tango, foxtrot, cha-cha and boogie across the SOMC Friends Community stage to music from “Phantom of the Opera,” “The Little Mermaid” and many more as they bring a touch of Broadway to Portsmouth. It’s an evening that promises to provide a fresh, new look to what is widely hailed as an entertaining evening.

This year’s even is scheduled for March 24. The evening begins with a reception and sit-down dinner, followed by the show. “Dancing With Our Stars” has proven to be one of the most glamorous galas in the Portsmouth area, drawing a sellout crowd for the past five years. Presented by the Ohio River Valley American Red Cross, the event pairs eight local community members (known as “Star Dancers”), who compete both on and off the dance floor as they raise money for the local Red Cross. One dollar raised equals one vote for the pair of your choice.

Have you always wanted to attend “Dancing With Our Stars,” only to find the seats were sold out? Organizers are trying to make sure you get to attend one of Portsmouth’s “most fun” fundraisers.

“This is the first year we have been able to offer tickets to the general public,” says Debbie Smith, community executive for the Red Cross. “Our sponsors have been very generous again this year, but we have a limited number of individual seats available without the waiting list at this time.”

“Dancing With Our Stars” is a high-energy dance show which provides financial support from sponsorships, ticket sales and “votes” from the community for their favorite dancers.

This year’s stars and their co-stars include firefighter Scott Artis and his wife, Melissa; Reece Brown, energy advisor for Stand Energy Corp., and Autumn Dowdy; Brian Stephenson, director of occupational therapy at Compass Community Health, and Dianne Coriell-Rice; Sean Frazier, general manager for the Portsmouth Bob Evans, and Kellie Bell; Sean King, program director at Pulse FM 98.3, and Toni Dengel; Scott Isaac, director of programming for the juvenile court for the Scioto County Court of Common Pleas-Juvenile/Probate Division; and Heather Cate; and Andrea Ryan, family nurse practitioner at Shawnee Family Health Center, dancing with David Atkins.

Dancers are not only busy practicing their routines, but also raising funds in quest of the coveted 2018 mirror ball trophy, as every dollar raised equals one vote.

As preludes to the March 24 event, several of the dancers are also conducting their own fundraisers to generate interest.

Ryan will present a “Sip and Dip” (aka cooking show) scheduled for March 2 at Sonora’s Catering and Banquet Hall on the corner of Kinneys Lane and Offnere. The event includes an elegant cheese recipe; decadent, bite-sized desserts; and kitchen products to make after-work or weekend events simple, yet sophisticated. Sponsored by Candy Wells of Pampered Chef, tickets for the wine, cheese and chocolate party are $10 per person, and are available at the Red Cross office, Neal Hatcher Real Estate or at the door. Can’t attend, you can still help Ryan with her fundraising online at https://pamperedchef.com/go/AndreaRyan.

Brown and his new bride, Briana, will present “Trail Running with the Stars,” which includes 1-, 2.5-, 5- and 7.5-mile options for all levels of runners and hikers, including children. Scheduled for March 10 at McChesney Ridge Athletic Club on Sedan Crabtree Road in Lucasville, the afternoon of fun and running includes a bowl of venison chili, veggie chili and a lakeside sunset around the campfire. Registration is available at runsignup.com.

In addition, dancers offer assorted raffle baskets, ticket raffles and giveaways. Contact the Red Cross office for more information, on any of the events or to purchase seats for this year’s “red tie optional” event.

Tickets for “Dancing With Our Stars” are now on sale. The event is the sole fund-raising event for the local Red Cross, so for those looking for a special gift for someone or who just want to pamper themselves with an evening filled with glitz and glamour, the American Red Cross may just have an answer to that dilemma.

A limited number of general admission seats are available at $125 per person, and can be purchased on a first-come, first-served basis by contacting the Red Cross office at 740-354-3293 or debbie.smith@redcross.org. A special gift card recognizing support of the Ohio River Valley American Red Cross and “Dancing With Our Stars” will be provided.

Proceeds from “Dancing With Our Stars” and the money raised by the Star Dancers 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.

What better way is there, than to have a fun-filled evening out, while at the same time, supporting such a great cause?

Reach Kim Jenkins at 740-353-3101 ext. 1928