FORT MILL — Some local residents and business leaders will exchange their office attire for dancing shoes and show their best moves for middle school sports.
The third annual Dancing With the Stars Fort Mill will be held Feb. 22 at the Glennon Community Center in Tega Cay. Just like the first two editions of the fundraiser, this one is a dinner and show with a cash bar, and show-only tickets will be available.
The event will pair residents with dancing professionals to raise money for middle school athletics in Fort Mill, said event co-chairwoman Lisa McCarley.
It keeps our middle school sports going, she said.
Cuts in state funding for public schools prompted the Fort Mill school board to de-fund middle school sports, which have 1,300 athletes participating.
Instead, McCarley and other parents formed the Fort Mill school district athletic board and got permission from the school board to run the programs. Middle school sports in Fort Mill are now self-funded, but the school district has contributed tens of thousands of dollars the past few years when surplus money became available.
The athletic board is funded through booster club participation and fundraisers, McCarley said.
While a $100 activity fee and gate fees cover $140,000 of the $200,000 needed to run the programs every year, events such as Dancing With the Stars Fort Mill help raise the other $60,000, McCarley said.
Sports help students stay focused in school, give them something to do after school and help them prepare for the future, said Jill Marr, athletic board fundraising chairman.
Middle school athletics also ensures athletes will be prepared for high school and avoid the dangers that they may face without a proper base, Marr said.
The dance event ensures students become rounded individuals, said Joe Romenick, the middle school athletic director.
Its paramount to have people support this, he said.
Romenick said athletes learn the value of friendship and to be part of team.
Organizers hope this years event brings in more than the $16,000 raised last year, McCarley said. As of Jan. 11, $4,000 was been raised. Each dance team they were introduced to the public at the Glennon Center last week is responsible for earning sponsorships and ticket sales.
VIP tickets are $100 and include dinner, dessert, pre-dinner cocktails and the after-show celebration. Tickets for the show and after show party are $50.
Residents can vote for their favorite team by making a donation or purchasing event tickets in the teams name.
For information on sponsorships or to make a donation and vote for a team, visit fortmillathletics.com.
The lineup for the Feb. 22 event:
• Tammie Welch, Fort Mill school district dietician - partner to be determined
• Grey Young, Pleasant Knoll Elementary School principal - with Aubrey Salzman, independent instructor
• Celia McCarter, Fort Mill Tega Cay Junion Cotillion organization - with Dmitriy Solomakha, Dance Center USA
• Caryn Scroggs, The Foundation for Fort Mill Schools - with David Whittington, independent instructor
• Roger Costner, Brothers Air, Heating & Plumbing - with Lauren Ashley, independent instructor
• Bob DeLong, owner, Dolce Lusso Salons - with Gabriela Sevillano, Dance Center USA