First on the roster are Dr. Ted Pennel and Meagan Walraven, who will be dancing to the James Bond theme performed by the John Barry Orchestra in the “Dr. No” movie.
The team will be dressed to the nines, with Walraven wearing a one-piece Jovani costume decorated with rhinestones and Pennel appearing in black tie. Pennel’s wife, LaRae Pennel, owner of City Ballet in downtown Calhoun, will choreograph their routine, which is a series of ballroom dances.
Walraven is a 2003 graduate of Calhoun High School with years of dance training and experience. She began studying dance when she was five years old. She danced for nine years with the Dalton School of Ballet, spending four of those years in the Ballet Dalton Dance Company. She studied dance at City Ballet during high school, where she was a majorette and dance line performer.
Currently staying at home with her two year old daughter, Molly, she is married to Bart Walraven, who is employed with Fox & Brindle. A former small business owner and marketing director for Chick-fil-A of Calhoun, she was named one of the Top Twenty under Forty by Calhoun Magazine in 2011. She and her family attend First Baptist Church.A charter member of the Gordon County Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals committee, she also served on the Board of Directors for the Boys and Girls Club of Gordon, Murray and Whitfield Counties. She is the daughter of Billy and Sherry Brindle. A life-long resident of Gordon County, she attended Kennesaw State University.
Pennel is a physician employed by Gordon Hospital, where he works as a hospitalist. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia in 1981, and then graduated from medical school in 1985. He was in private practice in Calhoun from 1988-2007. He belongs to a number of professional organizations. Pennel is one of several local physicians featured in Gordon Hospital’s “Your Healing. Our Calling.”” advertising campaign.
Pennel has no dance experience or training. This is actually his second effort at Mohawk Presents Calhoun’s Dancing with the Stars. Originally slated to dance with his wife in the 2012 show, but “fired” when she felt his lack of experience might jeopardize her quest for the Mirror Ball, he will hit the dance floor with more to prove than most of the contestants. He and his wife have a large, blended family which includes four children: Sam, Buck, Malone and Isabella. He and his family are members of Heritage Baptist Church.
Mohawk Presents Calhoun’s Dancing with the Stars is a joint fundraiser, with all profits benefiting the GEM Theatre and United Way of Gordon County. Each of the eight teams is competing in two capacities: as fundraisers and as dancers. Their fundraising efforts are limited only by their imaginations.
Team supporters may make online donations at www.gordoncountyunitedway.org until right before the finale. Online donors must make a minimum pledge of $5.00, with Visa, MasterCard and Discover accepted. Those wishing to make personal donations may do so by offering their payments to United Way Director Vickie Spence at her office in the Calhoun Depot. Credit cards, cash and checks are accepted at that location. Supporters may also present their donations directly to their favored team. Donations will be collected during the Friday and Saturday shows.