Dancing with Our Stars 2016 Fundraiser Raises Awareness for Local Services and $200,000+!

 

Karen Classon takes home the fundraising mirror ball trophy raising over $87,000. Photo by: Mark Witte

Karen Classon takes home the fundraising mirror ball trophy raising over $87,000. Photo by: Mark Witte/American Red Cross. 

The 8th Annual Dancing with Our Stars for the American Red Cross held on Saturday, February 20 at the KI Convention Center in Green Bay featured fantastic fundraising as well as spectacular dancing. Together, with the amazing efforts of our star and professional dancers, sponsors, and with the support of the community, we raised more than $200,000 in net revenue to support Red Cross programs and services in our community.

“Here at the Red Cross, we are truly humbled by the outpouring of community support received through the “Dancing with Our Stars” event,” said Steve Hansen, Chapter Executive. “Saturday night, the entire event concluded with the entertainment and demonstration of dancing skills by our 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 Red Cross.”

Thank you to our sponsors including: Broadway Automotive; Erie Insurance; Festival Foods; Gagnon Clay Products; Green Bay Packaging; Green Bay Packers; NXC Imaging; Schneider Foundation, Toonen Properties and Wisconsin Public Service Foundation. We also thank our media partners of WBAY-TV2 and 101 WIXX for their promotional support.

Our dancers definitely put their best foot forward to entertain and dazzle the crowd. The evening began with dinner and followed with our amazing dance program where each star dancer performed two dances. The night concluded with the awards ceremony.

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People’s Choice award for showcase one: Kati Donaho and Rane Cegelski, Foxtrot – “Kill of the Night.” Photo by: Dave Pruszka/American Red Cross. 

Taking away the top honor for the Mirror Ball Fundraising Trophy was Karen Classon. The owner of SKB Management raised $87,000 to support the local Red Cross.

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People’s Choice award for showcase two: Jen Berres-Dart and Michael Witte., Jive – “Shut Up and Dance.” Photo by Mark Witte/American Red Cross. 

The People’s Choice award for showcase one went to Kati Donaho and Rane Cegelski for their Foxtrot to “Kill of the Night.” The People’s Choice award for showcase two went to Jen Berres-Dart and Michael Witte for their Jive to “Shut Up and Dance.”

The Judges’ Choice award went to Anna Allen and Michael Witte for their two performances: the Foxtrot to “Sexy Silk” and a Bolero to “Alone.”

Judges Choice: Anna Allen and Michael Witte for their two performances: Pictured - the Foxtrot to “Sexy Silk” photo by: Dave Pruszka

Judges Choice: Anna Allen and Michael Witte for their two performances: Pictured – the Foxtrot to “Sexy Silk” photo by: Dave Pruszka/American Red Cross. 

Special thanks to Cami Rapson and Tammy Elliott of WBAY-TV 2 for serving as masters of ceremonies and Nikolay Karchev, Jay Morth and Heather Wudstrack for their professional and colorful commentary as judges.

Thank you to all our star dancers for their time, commitment, energy and passion:
Anna Allen – Teacher, Lineville Intermediate School
Jen Berres-Dart – Owner/Instructor, Jenstar Yoga
Karen Classon – SKB Management
Kati Donaho – Business Travel/Group Sales Manager, Hyatt Regency
Lori Dufek – Account Manager, NXC Imaging
Maureen Gagnon – Co-owner, Gagnon Clay Products
Zeb Metzler – Learning & Development Specialist, Innovative Services
Dan Terrio – Learning Facilitator, Humana
Marty Williams – Owner/Dentist, Sierra Dental

Also, thank you to our pro dance partners: Rane Cegelski and Brad McDonald from DanceSport of Green Bay; Bill Beschta; Jamie Blair, Michael Witte and Mina Witte from Simply Ballroom of Green Bay; and Jim Gagnon, Toby Crawford and Terry Irwin from TC Dance Club of Appleton.

Thank you to our committee, volunteers and most of all the community for supporting your local Red Cross.

Get to Know DWOS Community Star Dancer – Lori Dufek

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I’m so excited take part this fabulous experience!

I’m a Lena native, and proud to still call this great little community my home.  My husband Charlie and I went to Kindergarten together and all the way through high school….no secrets!  We live “In God’s Country” treasuring our natural oasis, enjoying the peace and quiet after our hectic days.

We couldn’t be more proud of our greatest blessings, Nick, Ben, Eric, Emily, and Brittany as well as their spouses, Rhonda, Amber, Allison, Lance, and Nick.  And then life’s REAL greatest blessings come along…Abigale, Greyson, William, Brody, and the little sprout who’s being developed!  All of our free time revolves around trying to gather this group together as often as possible.   I’m fortunate also to have my sisters and brothers and their families, Mom (and Dad from Heaven) close and present in our lives.

I’ve been privileged through the years with some wonderful career opportunities. I was the Director of Imaging at NEW MRI Center and worked with a dynamic team for 19 years who mastered having fun everyday while using innovative technology to help people understand what was going on inside their bodies.  Nine years ago I was given the opportunity to challenge myself and step into a sales role for all of the Medical Imaging Technologies.  The reward here is that I now have friends across the world.  Every day I learn something new and make a new friend!  My employer,  NXC Imaging’s Corporate Office is in Minneapolis however I am allowed to work from the center of my territory, my Lena office!  NXC has been awarded as one  of the Star Tribune’s Top Work Places year after year due to their positive team culture, mutual respect, trust, and appreciation.  I’m really proud to be part of this team.  Our mission is Never Ordinary.   We strive to deliver impressive and spectacular service that is far superior to our competition.

Dancing has always represented great fun in my life.  The Lawrence Welk show would bring the first memory of dance,  a weekly ritual for the family. I always loved the ladies beautiful dresses, high heels, and pretty hair.  There is nothing better than a family wedding dance.  Seeing your brothers and sisters, kids and grandkids get a little crazy is a priceless experience, pure fun!  As a cheerleader in high school we also performed  “Half Time Dances”, more great memories!  My husband and I tried to take our dance moves to a higher level. We took dance lessons before the first of our children’s weddings.  We thought we were pretty good…when he let me lead!

I absolutely love watching Dancing with the Stars.  I find myself smiling the entire dance and getting into their rhythm.  My all-time favorite, hands down, is Double D, Donald Driver.  That smile says it all!  Thank you Donald, it was like we won the Super Bowl all over again!

While taking a walk one evening early this summer on our country roads my husband and I met up with our neighbors Bill and Kathie Beschta.  Bill’s eyes lit up and said that he was just thinking of me and asked if I’d consider participating in an experience of a lifetime next year.   After hearing more about this opportunity and the great purpose of this event, I had a hard time saying no.  I always taught my children to challenge themselves, so it’s hard to not stand behind what I preach!  Of course my husband agreed that this would be a great thing for me to do….easy for him to say!!!  I agreed as long as I could work with Bill and Kathie since I have the utmost admiration for their energy and grace on the dance floor.  They are such an inspirational couple to watch perform.  I appreciate their willingness and commitment to coach me through this.   A positive attribute we have going for us is that we can practice locally!

I’m proud to serve as the President of the Lena School Board.  “Small Community…..Great Opportunity” is our Mission Statement.  We believe that by promoting a strong, positive work ethic and preparing our students to become lifelong learners our students will be prepared to become responsible contributors to their local and global communities.   I’m certain that the school cafeteria may serve as home to some of our practices.  We are just a couple of Lena kids using our work ethics to contribute to our global community!!

I support the American Red Cross because of the amazing things that it does for people in need such as emergency assistance, disaster relief, and education. I am especially grateful for the transportation program which allows elderly or disabled people the opportunity to get to appointments when they have no other alternative transportation.  It all comes back to being a good neighbor.

“The Best Way to Find Yourself is to Lose Yourself in the Service of Others.”-Mahatma Gandhi

American Red Cross Announces Dancing with our Stars 2016 Participants

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The newest group of “star dancers” for the American Red Cross Dancing with our Stars fundraiser was unveiled Tuesday, October 6 at a kickoff party sponsored by Festival Foods.  The nine community members competing to raise the most funds to support local Red Cross efforts are:

  • Anna Allen – Teacher, Lineville Intermediate School
  • Jen Berres-Dart – Owner/Instructor, Jenstar Yoga
  • Karen Classon – SKB Management
  • Kati Donaho – Business Travel/Group Sales Manager, The Hyatt on Main
  • Lori Dufek – Account Manager, NXC Imaging
  • Maureen Gagnon – Co-owner, Gagnon Clay Products
  • Zeb Metzler – Learning & Development Specialist, Innovative Services
  • Dan Terrio – Learning Facilitator, Humana
  • Marty Williams – Owner/Dentist, Sierra Dental

Edit 3They will now spend the next four months learning two ballroom dances which they will perform at Dancing with our Stars 2016. That event will take place Saturday, February 20th at the KI Convention Center in downtown Green Bay. Dancing with our Stars is now in its eighth 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 now at this website:

http://crowdrise.com/dancingwithourstars/

The person who raises the most money between now and the end of the event will be awarded the coveted Fundraising 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 and international programs.

Last year’s event raised $170,000 for the local Red Cross.  Ann Vande Hei, Director of Business Process Performance, Integrys, took home the Fundraising Mirror Ball Trophy after raising $60,000.

DanceSport of Green Bay, Simply Ballroom of Green Bay, TC Dance Club of Appleton and Bill Beschta are the participating dance partners for the event.

Information about tickets will be available at a later date. More event information can be found on the following Red Cross platforms:

Dancing with our Stars donation website: http://crowdrise.com/dancingwithourstars/

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

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/americanredcrossnortheastwisconsinchapter

Twitter: @redcrosswis (#DWOS16 to join the conversation!)

Erie Insurance, Festival Foods, Green Bay Packaging, Green Bay Packers, Schneider, Wisconsin Public Service, WBAY-TV 2 and 101 WIXX are proud sponsors of Dancing with our Stars 2016.

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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 visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.