United Way of Gordon County will partner with Friends of the GEM to present its second annual event and eight teams are gearing up for the signature event in March 2013.
“Dancing with the Stars 2012 was a huge success and it generated unbelievable energy for both United Way of Gordon County and Friends of the GEM,” said Vickie Spence, United Way Director. “We cannot believe it’s time to start preparing for our second event, but here we are again, with everybody involved looking forward to the same overwhelming success.”
Eight teams will compete in the competition, which mimics the reality show that is still going strong after years on air. The two presenting non-profit organizations are following a strong trend in fundraising models as they combine their skills and resources to produce an event that exceeds what they could do alone.
Local celebrity Sam Edwards has agreed to emcee the event again, bringing his own brand of humor and commentary to the GEM Stage. Well known for his talents as a public speaker, Edwards will add an additional layer of entertainment value to the event. Joni Harbin, Director of Communications for the Gordon County Chamber of Commerce and Executive Director of the Calhoun-Gordon Council for a Literate Community, will serve as co-emcee.
Judges are not yet in place, but all of them will be from outside Gordon County. The curtain will rise at 7:30 p.m. as all eight teams perform the opening number, a disco-themed routine choreographed by Debbie Mixon, a Physical Education instructor at Belwood and fitness instructor at Fitness First. Mixon was involved in Dancing with the Stars 2012 as a choreographer and dancer.
Besides the dancers themselves, a host of other professionals will contribute their talents. Wanda Whitten, a professional event organizer from Rome, Georgia, has been retained to coordinate the event. Sonoraville High School instructor Bill Long will supervise event filming while Jon Gaines with Hi-Gaines Sound will provide full audio services. Mohawk’s Jennifer Palmer and Calhoun City School’s Peter Coombe will be responsible for social media and website marketing.
The 16 dancers are Liza Bohannon Allen, Matt Barton, Dr. Cynthia Brown, Fran Burns, Michael Clark, Ryan Duke, Tracy Farriba, David Hawkins, Clint Hayes, Jenny Hayes, T.J. Hettsmanberg, Dr. Kirby Peden, Dr. Ted Pennel, Trey Pierson, Meagan Walraven and Lynn Whittenburg. The eight teams cover a diverse professional field, with several rising from the medical community, local schools and government, and the fitness industry.
Allen is a lifetime dancer and an instructor at Expressions School of Performing Arts while Barton owns and operates his own medical courier service and serves on the Calhoun City Council. Dr. Brown and Dr. Pennel are both employed with Gordon Hospital while Dr. Peden owns and operates GA Emergency Care, PC.
Farriba works at Gordon Hospital as Director of Physician and Community Outreach while Duke is a self-employed Personal Trainer. Pierson, quickly emerging as the jokester of the group, is employed with One Source Sample, Inc. David Hawkins works as the Fire Chief for the Gordon County Fire Department while Lynn Whittenburg manages Firehouse Gym.
A self-employed plumber and professional educator will come together as Clint and Jenny Hayes, the only married couple dancing, hit the dance floor. Calhoun High School graduate Meagan Walraven, a long-time dancer and stay-at-home mother to 22-month-old Molly, will find herself back on the dance floor as the competition begins. Fran Burns and T.J. Hettsmansburg will represent Mohawk Industries while long-time Calhoun Band Instructor Michael Clark tries to do as well on the floor as he does the field.
The first show will be a dress rehearsal on Friday, March 15, 2013 with tickets priced at $25.00. The final show with judges and winner announcements will be Saturday, March 16, 2013. Only those tickets not claimed by corporate sponsors will be available for public sale at $50.00 per ticket. Both evenings will begin with a Red Carpet Walk from 7:00 to 7:30 as the dancers move from Velo Vineyard to the GEM Theatre.
Bill Long will provide remote viewing for the final show at Velo Vineyard for $25 per person. No online sales will take place until Monday, January 7, 2013. From now until Dec. 17, 2012, sponsorships with tickets are available beginning at $500. Available tickets go on sale to the public on Thursday, January 3, 2013.