“Roses are red, Salsa is hot
Chocolate has calories, Dancing does not.”
Latin dancing and culture is hot, steamy, sultry—and full of life. This year’s Dancing with the Local Stars brings all of those elements to what has arguably come to be the most popular fundraiser in Muskegon County.
Based on the popular television show, it is the brainchild of Co-Chair Mary Kendall who brought the idea to the fundraising committee of Women’s Division Chamber of Commerce (WDCC) in 2009. The original event was scheduled for one performance but the fundraiser was an instant hit and has grown to four performances. The 12 local dancing couples volunteer their time, hard work and talent to raise money for local food pantries. WDCC donated over $629,000 to food pantries in northern Ottawa, southern Oceana and Muskegon counties over the past eight years.
The theme this year is Latin Flair, which carries over from the music to décor to the food. “We have a lot of fun—so does the audience—but our ultimate goal is the financial support we receive from the community for local food pantries. The friendships we make along the way is an added bonus,” said Kendall.
And as most readers know, I am one of the “stars” this year. It is an amazing group of people—from the stars, their dance professionals and all the women who volunteer. In fact, the way this event is run—from the dance rehearsals, marketing, publicity, to all the food that is provided every week before practice, is so well coordinated and embraced by the women who volunteer they could teach many corporations a thing or two about efficiency matched with empathy.
As I have said ad nauseam, I am the oldest of the dancers but no pity parties are allowed. We work as a group and at the same time rehearse our personal dance.
I always knew a lot of work went into this fundraiser but it’s a lot more than I thought. Still, I don’t regret it. To be able to be part of an event that raises money for area food pantries is such a worthy and necessary cause.
And we all support each other.
For a complete list of dancers and information on how to be a sponsor, go to WDCCDancing with the Local Stars on Facebook.