March 24, 2013 Leave a comment
February 25, 2013 1 Comment
The 5th Annual Dancing with Our Stars for the American Red Cross of Northeast Wisconsin exceeded expectations, with record fundraising and increased awareness to programs and services. Together, with the amazing efforts of our nine celebrity dancers, our sponsors, and with the support of the community, we raised $370,000 in net revenue to support Red Cross programs and services in our community. This year’s event was held on Saturday, February 23 at the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center in Green Bay.“Here at the American Red Cross, we are truly humbled by the outpouring of community support received through the “Dancing with Our Stars” event,” said Steve Hansen, Regional COO and Chapter Executive. “Saturday night, the entire event concluded with the entertainment and demonstration of dancing skills by our nine stars, but the real event started more than four months ago, when our dancers made the commitment to raise funds to support the lifesaving mission of the American Red Cross.”
Hansen also said, “Along with the outstanding support from our sponsors and community, the dancers poured everything they had into this event by generously volunteering their time and talent to make this event a huge success. On behalf of the American Red Cross, thank you for bringing compassion and hope to those in need!”
Thank you to our sponsors including: Oneida Nation of Wisconsin; Kimberly-Clark; Festival Foods; Schneider National Foundation; Jack’s Maintenance; Broadway Automotive; The Green Bay Packers; MillerCoors and Masters Gallery Foods. We also thank our media partners of WBAY-TV2, WIXX and the Green Bay Press-Gazette for their promotional support.
Our dancers definitely put their best foot forward to entertain and dazzle a sold-out crowd of 770 guests. The evening began with dinner and followed with our all-star dance program where each celebrity performed two dances. The night concluded with the awards ceremony.
Taking away the top honors for the Mirror Ball Fundraising Trophy was Betina Driver. The wife of former Green Bay Packers wide receiver Donald Driver raised $155,000 to support the local Red Cross.
To view additional photos from the event visit our Northeast Wisconsin Facebook page.
The People’s Choice award for showcase one went to Pat Warpinski and Taryn Oleson for their Quickstep to “Rolling in the Deep.” People’s Choice award for showcase two went to Mary Gronnert and Michael Witte for their Jive to “Girls Gone Wild.”The Judges’ Choice award went to Betina and Donald Driver for their two performances: A Tango to ‘Too Close” and a Rumba to “Endless Love.”
Special thanks to Cami Rapson and Chris Roth of WBAY-TV 2 for serving as masters of ceremonies and to Jesse Baumgart, Kimberly Larsen and Christopher Mangless for their professional and colorful judging commentary.
Thank you to all our star dancers for their time, commitment, energy and passion: Todd Bierowski, President/Owner, Décor Lighting Sales, Asst. Football Coach, St. Norbert College; Rick Bondowski, Senior Vice President, Regional Retail Director, Associated Bank; Betina Driver, Co-host, “The Better Half”; Mary Gronnert, Foundation Coordinator, Schneider National Foundation, Inc.; Emily Matesic, Reporter, WBAY-TV 2; Sean Sanders, Grocery/Frozen/Dairy Director, Festival Foods; Amy Sehring, Community Supporter; Erica VanBoxel, Green Bay Press-Gazette Magazine Editor; Pat Warpinski, Owner/Veterinarian of The Animal House; and Rane Cegelski and Taryn Oleson from DanceSport of Green Bay; Jamie Keyzer, Jay Morth, Taylor Watry, Michael Witte and Alyssa Zellner from Simply Ballroom of Green Bay; and Terry Irwin from TC Dance Club International of Appleton.
Thank you to our committee, volunteers and most of all the community for supporting your local American Red Cross of Northeast WI.
December 4, 2012 Leave a comment
December 2, 2012 Leave a comment
I’ve been a performer my entire life and now I not only play a news reporter on TV, but I get to live out a fantasy and be a dancer!!!Born on New York’s Long Island I had dreams of performing on Broadway. Those dreams quickly faded after I took my first ballet class and got yelled at ALL THE TIME for talking more than dancing. Oh and I can’t sing either.So, after my failed attempt at NYC stardom (or my dad’s job transfer), my family moved to the suburbs of Pittsburgh, PA and that’s what I call home. A regular tomboy, I grew up playing soccer and basketball and rooting for the Steelers, the Penguins, and the Pirates. The Buccos are hard to root for today after 20+ losing seasons, but the Steelers and the Pens still have my heart.
I took my love of sports and turned it into a college scholarship playing soccer at Elon College (now Elon University) in North Carolina. I double majored in Communications with a Broadcast emphasis and Journalism. Following my four years at Elon, I hit the road once again for NYC, after I landed a job at MSNBC. I worked behind the scenes for a year before getting my BIG BREAK!! I was hired as a reporter for WENY (often referred to as weenie) in Elmira, NY. After two and a half years in the Southern Tier I moved three hours south to Altoona, PA and worked for the CBS affiliate there before landing in Green Bay in 2005.
Since moving to Green Bay seven years ago, I’ve jumped out of a perfectly good airplane because someone asked me to be a “celebrity” skydiver. I’ve also taken the Polar Bear Plunge into Lake Michigan in Jacksonport on January 1st for a story and I’ve fallen in love with a Yooper!
It’s been quite a ride here in Northeast Wisconsin and none of it would have been possible without the love and support of my family and friends. I especially want to thank my parents for giving me my dance floor skills and my boyfriend Adam (Rock) Rockman for just being on my team.
HERE WE GO!!!
Check out Emily and her dance partner Jay doing an East Coast Swing:
Learn a bit more about Emily —–
Describe your first dancing recollection. About how old were you and what was the occasion? I remember dancing in the kitchen as a kid at a very young age. My parents grew up in the 50’s/60’s so Motown was often playing in our house. My dad was always spinning my mom around the kitchen doing a Jitterbug or a Cha-Cha. I loved when my dad would grab my hand for my turn to take a spin! Thirty-five years later, my parents continue to dance and I still love dancing with my dad!
Who is your dream dance partner? As a girl who grew up watching Dirty Dancing, I think the late Patrick Swayze would be my dream dance partner. Nobody puts Baby/me in a corner!
But if I had to choose someone who was still living it would definitely be Maksim Chmerkovskiy. I just love how he pushes his partners and the limits on DWTS!! And let’s be honest, he’s just HOT!!!
Who is your favorite dancer of all time on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” and why? You can take the girl out of Pittsburgh, but you can’t take Pittsburgh out of the girl which is why Hines Ward is definitely my favorite “celebrity” dancer of all time on DWTS. I remember watching Hines hoist the Mirror Ball trophy while answering phones for the Red Cross Heartbreak to Hope telethon at WBAY-TV last year.
Why support the American Red Cross with your participation? As a news reporter I often see people at their worst, whether they’ve lost their home to a fire or a loved one to war. These are always heartbreaking stories, but at times they’re also uplifting because I get to see firsthand what the American Red Cross does to help others. Everything from giving a child a blanket or a stuffed animal to help comfort them following a tragedy to feeding the first responders who arrive at a scene, the Red Cross really does help to change lives. Plus, this one time, a volunteer gave me and all the other reporters and photographers a really good breakfast sandwich while we were covering an event!
Hobbies or passions: In no particular order of importance…
- Steelers Football, don’t hate me, I’m not a Green Bay native
- Soccer, I played in college and I still play today
- Cooking, I love to try new recipes and would love to cook with any of the chefs on The Food Network
- My nephews, 4-year old twins Matty and Tommy and their baby brother who is expected to make his debut in January of 2013.
- “I LOVE to dance!” — quoting Sarah Jessica Parker from my favorite 80’s movie “Girls Just Want to have Fun”