Local celebrities will exchange their business 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 well-known 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.
As a result of cuts in state funding for public schools, the Fort Mill School Board decided to de-fund middle school sports, which have 1,300 athletes participating. Instead, a group of parents led by McCarley 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 Fort Mill School District 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 like Dancing With the Stars – Fort Mill helps raise the other $60,000, McCarley said.
Keeping the sports going helps students stay focused in school, gives them something to do after school and helps them prepare for the future, said Jill Marr, school district athletic board fundraising chairman.
“Sports teaches life lessons,” she said. “It’s the total package of students growing up.”
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.
Events like DWTS ensures students become rounded individuals, said Joe Romenick, the middle school athletic director.
“It’s paramount to have people support this,” he said. “Athletics are more than just sports; it’s making the entire child.”
Romenick said athletes learn the value of friendship and to be part of team.
Organizer hope this year’s event bring 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 Friday night – is responsible for earning sponsorships and ticket sales.
The event will crown one team Dancing Champion based on the team’s overall dance scores and crowd appeal. However, the team to take home the Mirror Ball Champion title and trophy will be judged based on their dance scores as well as how much they raise, McCarley said.
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.
“Have a fun date night or ladies’ night,” McCarley said.
Residents can vote for their favorite team by making a donation or purchasing event tickets in the team’s name.
For more information on sponsorships or to make a donation and vote for a team, visit fortmillathletics.com.
The lineup for the 2014 DWTS- Fort Mill:
• Tammie Welch, Fort Mill School District dietician - Partner TBD
• Grey Young, Pleasant Knoll Elementary School Principle - partnered with Aubrey Salzman, independent instructor
• Celia McCarter, Fort Mill Tega Cay Jr. Cotillion organization - partnered with Dmitriy Solomakha, Dance Center USA
• Caryn Scroggs, The Foundation for Fort Mill Schools - partnered with David Whittington, independent instructor
• Roger Costner, Brothers Air, Heating & Plumbing - partnered with Lauren Ashley, independent instructor
• Bob DeLong, owner, Dolce Lusso Salons - partnered with Gabriela Sevillano, Dance Center USA