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$70,000+ Made at Dancing with the Stars Fundriaser for Neighborhood Center.

January 26, 2014
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   01/27/14  The 6th Annual Dancing With The Stars fundraiser for the Marshall County Neighborhood Center was held Saturday night at the beautiful Swan Lake Resort.  

  Even though the weather had been bad all day and the County Commissioners enacted a Travel Advisory the banquet hall was full of 380 guests waiting to see the 13 dancing couples or groups who dedicated months of training and practice for their performances.    

  Prior to the performances Master of Ceremonies Francis Ellert welcomed everyone and introduced Sara Hill, Executive Director who gave a brief overview of the history of the Neighborhood Center.  Created to help local families by helping to meet their basic needs of food and clothing, Hill said, “We have been serving a record number of families.”  More than 400 families have been using the food pantry each month and over 20,000 articles of clothing were distributed last year.  Hill said, “We are small but we are mighty in our impact on poverty.” 

  Dancing With The Stars is the only major fundraiser for the Neighborhood Center, but it’s also used to raise community awareness.    Hill explained that 50% of those using the food pantry are children and 20% are senior citizens who are trying to make ends meet while living on a limited income.   She said 5,000 individuals were touched by the Center last year. 

  There are a couple of new programs at the Center, the Grocery Delivery Service which is a multi non-profit project taking advantage of the manpower of other groups such as the Rotary Club or 5-Star Kids who pack groceries for 60 families monthly.  Those grocery bags are then delivered to families in Marshall County by drivers for Marshall Starke Development Center. 

  The second program is Family Sponsorship.  Sponsoring a family is a commitment to donate $32 monthly to assist one family being served by the Neighborhood Center.

  After the formalities and a fabulous dinner the dancers took to the floor and entertained with a variety of dance styles.  A live auction also netted the Center $11,975. 

  At the conclusion of the event, once the votes are totaled the winners of the dancing were announced. 

  Fifth place was Jodi Overmyer and Brett Walters with choreographer Kayla Read. 

  Fourth place was Rio Hafke Blake Gainer with choreographer Mewsette Cartwright.

  Third place was John Gaugh and Mewsette Cartwright.

  Second place was Team O’Day with John Sabo, Dawn Hartung, Tom Black, Cathy Raab, Gene Hundt, Connie Deckard, Richard Houin, Marilou Thompson, Aislynn Alkire and Tyler Newton who danced to Singing in the Rain.

  Over-all winners were Rodney Jacobs and Doug Gehrke who did a play-off of the Blues Brothers.

  Karen Barden said they made over $70,000 with the fundraiser. 

   Photos provided by Jayme www.facebook.com/photographybyjayme

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