Get to know Star Dancer 2013 – Rick Bondowski

9131RickI’m Rick Bondowski, Regional Retail Director at Associated Bank, I have been with Associated Bank for nearly 6 years. I serve on the board of Directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Wisconsin and the Menominee Tribal College.

I am also a dad, husband, son, brother, uncle. I am on a mission to not embarrass myself and the aforementioned parties with my participation in Dancing with The Stars competition. My wife Claudine and I are blessed to have a wonderful son Jack, who was really excited for this competition; more so to see Donald and Betina Driver dance, rather than his Dad. I enjoy hunting, golfing, coaching Jack’s sports teams, as well as cheer on the Packers, Brewers, Bucks and my alma mater Marquette University.

My early memories of dancing come from family weddings.  When I was teenager, I believed I could really cut a rug.  I realize now that the sprinkler, lawn mower and driving the bus moves I had then will probably not cut it in this competition. I also spent a little time in show choir  in junior high and still take a lot of grief for the spirit finger moves I was required to do.

My personal favorite Dancing With The Stars Celebrity is Katherine Jenkins from the season Donald  Driver won. How could you not love someone who could say “Naughty Bits” on National TV?  She was also elegant, classy and quite a good dancer.

I am proud to support a great organization like the  American Red Cross and all the humanitarian efforts they lead. The risk of embarrassing myself is a small price to pay to help raise money to support those in need, when they need it most. With that, I am somewhat of a quiet guy. This experience is one of those ‘break out of the shell events’ that everyone should try. Pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone can be a good thing from time to time, and I am surely doing that here! When given the chance to sit it out or dance – I hope we all choose to dance.

American Red Cross Announces Dancing with our Stars 2013 Participants

Top row l-r: Betina Driver, Mary Gronnert, Emily Matesic, Amy Sehring, Erica VanBoxel Bottom Row l-r: Rick Bondowski Todd Bierowski, Sean Sanders, Pat Warpinski

The newest group of “star dancers” for the American Red Cross Dancing with our Stars fundraiser was unveiled Thursday night at a kickoff party at the Lambeau Field Atrium. The nine community members competing to raise the most funds to support local Red Cross efforts are:

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

They will now spend the next four months learning two ballroom dances which they will perform at Dancing with our Stars 2013. That event will take place Saturday, February 23rd at the Radisson Hotel & Conference Center in Green Bay. Dancing with our Stars is now in its fifth year and it is has been a sold-out event each year. Not only do those in attendance support local efforts, so can those not attending as the “star dancers” receive votes in the form of donations to the Red Cross. One dollar equals one vote. Donations can be made starting Monday, October 29 at this website:

http://american.redcross.org/dwos

The person who raises the most money between now and the end of the event will be awarded the mirror ball trophy. All funds raised support disaster prevention, preparation and relief, the life-saving training of first aid, CPR/AED classes, collection and testing of blood and blood products, support to military members serving around the globe, the transportation program and international programs.

Among the “pro dancers” participating in the event will be Green Bay Packers wide receiver Donald Driver. He’s the reigning champion of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars”, taking home the mirror ball trophy during the show’s 14th season. Donald will dance with his wife, Betina.

DanceSport of Green Bay, Simply Ballroom, LLC and TC Dance Club of Appleton are the participating dance partner studios for the event.

Information about tickets will be available in January. More event information can be found on the following Red Cross platforms:

Dancing with our Stars website: http://american.redcross.org/dwos

Dancing with our Stars blog: http://redcrossdwosblog.org

Facebook: http://facebook.com/NEWRedCross

Twitter: @NEWRedCross (#DWOS to join the conversation!)

Northeast WI American Red Cross Website: http://redcross.org/newisconsin

Associated Bank, Festival Foods, the Green Bay Packers, Jack’s Maintenance, the Oneida Nation, Schneider National, WBAY-TV, WIXX and the Green Bay Press-Gazette are proud sponsors of Dancing with our Stars 2013.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.