Dancing with Our Stars 2017 Fundraiser Raises Awareness for Local Services and $206,000+!

The 9th Annual Dancing with Our Stars for the American Red Cross held on Saturday, February 25 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 $206,000 to support Red Cross programs and services in our community.

Taking away the top honor for the Mirror Ball Fundraising Trophy – Team Division was Stacy Stecker and Chelsea Anderson of Team Rock for the Red. They raised more than $66,000 to support the local Red Cross. The winner of the Mirror Ball Fundraising Trophy – Individual Division was Jim Knopf who raised more than $25,000.

People’s Choice Champion Award went to Billi Jo Baneck and Michael Witte for their dance to “I Won’t Let Go.”  The People’s Choice Runner Up Award went to Ryan Martin and Mina Witte for their Paso Doble to “Kiss the Sky.”

The Judges’ Choice Champion Award went to Kelly Wolff and Terry Irwin for their Rhythm Medley to “One Night Only.” The Judges’ Choice Runner Up Award went to Sarah Larson and Rane Cegelski for their Harry Potter-themed Smooth Medley.

Sarah Larson and Rane Cegelski for their Harry Potter-themed Smooth Medley.

Sarah Larson and Rane Cegelski for their Harry Potter-themed Smooth Medley.

Thank you to our sponsors including: Associated Bank; AT&T; BayTek Games; Broadway Automotive; Festival Foods; Green Bay Packaging; Green Bay Packers; Kimberly-Clark; Nature’s Way; Sanimax; Schneider Foundation, Simply Ballroom, SKB Management, Tundraland and Wisconsin Public Service. We also thank our media partners of WBAY-TV2, 101 WIXX and 94.3 JackFM for their promotional support.

Special thanks to Cami Rapson of WBAY-TV 2 and Shawn Kiser of Rally Man Entertainment for serving as masters of ceremonies and Christopher Mangless, Matthew Rassmussen 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:

  • Team Champagne Strut:
    • Jennie Sykes – Brand Ambassador, Elevate97
    • Jillian Dempsey – Co-owner, The Heel
  • Team Culinary Chemist:
    • Jyll Everman – Co-Owner/Executive Chef, Gather on Broadway
    • Sarah Larson – Quality Control Chemist, Nature’s Way
  • Team E-Rock:
    • Emily Matesic – Fox Valley Bureau Chief, WBAY-TV
    • Adam Rockman – BSN/RN/CCRN, Bellin Health
  • Team Rock for the Red:
    • Chelsea Anderson – UW School of Medicine and Public Health
    • Stacy Stecker – Senior Vice President/Private Banking Group Manager, Associated Bank
  • Team Vixens:
    • Kelly Wolff – Kimberly-Clark
    • Lusine Weitz – Owner, NC Janitorial

The community members competing individually:

  • Billi Jo Baneck – Dispatcher, Brown County Public Safety
  • Jim Knopf – Sales & Marketing Manager, Servpro
  • Dr. Ryan Martin – Professor of Psychology at UW-Green Bay
  • Tara Steinhorst – Founder, Colton’s Cure
  • Carla Vander Loop – Stylist/Social Media Marketing, LS Boutique
  • Woody from 94.3 JackFM – Program Coordinator/On-Air Talent

 Also, thank you to our pro dance partners:

Rane Cegelski; Terry Irwin from TC Dance Club of Appleton; Charles Michaels from Arthur Murray School of Dance in Sun Prairie; Jay Morth from Ballroom by Jay; Michael Witte and Mina Witte from Simply Ballroom of Green Bay.

To view videos of the dances click HERE.

Check out our Northeast Wisconsin Facebook Page to view event photos.

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

 

DWOS17 Meet our Star Dancers: Tara Steinhorst

img_0920-57f2ba4f37f46I am a mother of four children: Colton (8), Camden (6), Kylin (4), Cooper (almost 2). I am a wife of 11 years to Jeff Steinhorst. My hobbies include raising awareness for childhood cancer, working to build Colton’s Cure Foundation, teaching my children activities like sports and spending time with my family. My passion is truly to raise awareness for childhood cancer and to spread joy and smiles throughout my community. The world is a better place if we are nice to people we run into.

I first was in Dance when I was little girl maybe about 6 years old. I was in a ballet class to help with my figure skating lessons.

I think my dream dance partner would be Colton. He never was able to really bust a move in his young age so I would love to dance with him again.

Donald Driver is my favorite dancer from “Dancing with the Stars” as he had amazing moves and great athletic ability. He also knows how to play to the crowd and perform.

I support the American Red Cross for many reasons but my number one reason is because it supports cancer patients with blood and platelets. Without that, chemotherapy wouldn’t be as easy or as good an option if they have low counts.

DWOS17 Meet our Star Dancers: Woody on 94.3 Jack FM

img_5503-57f2bb8c43491I am the program coordinator and on-air talent for 94.3 Jack FM. I am also a weekend entertainer, providing DJ and emcee services for brides and grooms on their wedding days. I have been married for 20 years, we have 10 children (some of whom are foster children living with us). In my free time, if I have any, I enjoy going to the movies or hanging out at a concert.

One of the reasons that I am participating in this adventure is because of my son: Charlie.  He was born on May 18, 2009.  It was discovered quickly that he had some abnormalities as well as biliary atresia. Biliary atresia occurs when there is no bile duct from the liver to the small intestines. Basically, the bile made and stored in the liver is unable to be excreted from the body. He was also born without a gallbladder another storage unit for bile. This bile builds up in the blood stream and that is when you see the yellowing of the eyes and skin. Charlie had a Kasai procedure to try and repair this defect, however that surgery was unsuccessful. His only chance at long term survival was a liver transplant. Without a transplant, most children born with biliary atresia typically do not survive past the age of two.

Woody and his dance partner, Mina Witte of Simply Ballroom.

Woody and his dance partner, Mina Witte of Simply Ballroom.

Charlie’s story from the first eight weeks of life until his transplant spanned just over one year. There are too many details to provide in this brief synopsis. There are some vital facts that helped to facilitate his survival. The amazing doctors and nurses who helped us care for him on a daily basis, and all of the blood products he received during his many days in the hospital. His transplant stay in the hospital was 122 days. During this period of time his life was like a roller coaster ride. He had countless surgeries, tests, as well as blood products. Thanks to the American Red Cross, Charlie was able to receive 20 units of red blood cells, 21 units of fresh frozen platelets, 14 units of plasma, and 1 unit of cryoprecipitate.

Without those blood products during his stay as well as during his transplant, Charlie would not have survived. Please consider making a donation to the American Red Cross. You never know when someone you love will need blood products.

 

Dapper Dance to Support Team Culinary Chemists

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Put on your “Sunday best” and join us for an evening of music and dancing. The night will include live music by Gypsy Trip, a ballroom dance lesson, silent auction, full bar and food. Doors open at 6pm with the dance lesson at 7 and the live music at 8pm

Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Advance tickets can be purchased at gatheronbroadway.com

Click HERE for more information and tickets!

DWOS17 Meet our Star Dancers: Team E-Rock

Emily Matesic

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Emily back at it with her dance partner, Jay Morth

I’ve worked in broadcast journalism for more than 15 years. I’ve been with WBAY-TV since August, 2005, and in 2010 was promoted to Fox Valley Bureau Chief.

After a year as a production assistant on “Special Edition” (now “MSNBC Investigates”), I accepted a job as a reporter at WENY-TV in upstate New York in 2001. A month later I was anchoring. In 2002, I led the team that produced, wrote and edited a 90-minute, commercial-free special commemorating the first anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, earning the New York State Associated Press Award, the station’s first AP award.

I’ve has covered a lot of memorable stories, but my personal favorite was flying with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds when the elite aerobatic unit came to EAA AirVenture to perform for the first time in the summer of 2014.

A former Division I college soccer player, I still enjoy playing soccer today. I also volunteer for the American Red Cross, especially during the Dancing with Our Stars fundraisers.

And while I made Northeast WI my home, I’m originally from Pittsburgh and love to cheer for the Steelers.  As they like to say in my hometown, you can take the girl out of Pittsburgh but you can’t take the Pittsburgh out of the girl!

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-nine years later, my parents continue to dance and I still love dancing with my dad!

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 I’m hoping this experience inspires my fundraising teammate/fiancé, Rock, to enjoy dancing and maybe we can cut some rug more often!

I’m a homer so Mirror Ball Champion Hines Ward is definitely my favorite star dancer on Dancing with the Stars.  Antonio Brown was pretty impressive, too!  Pro-wise, I think Maks (Maksim Chmerkovskiy) tops my list.   While I don’t always like his bad boy, badass behavior, the guy can dance!!

As a reporter, I’ve covered lots of tragedies and I’ve seen people at their worst.  The Red Cross is always on those scenes not only helping the victims, but the emergency responders as well.   It doesn’t matter if it’s two in the morning or two in the afternoon, the Red Cross is always coming to the aid of others.

 

Adam Rockman

img_0476-57d1b3731fe39I made a major life change in 2010 when I decided to leave the motorsports industry I worked in for more than 10 years to return to school to pursue my Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.  I graduated in 2012 and began working at Bellin Health where I am currently employed as a registered nurse (RN) in the intensive care unit (ICU).

I love my new career.  As an ICU RN, I often work with people on the worst day of their lives.  Although being an RN can be physically and emotionally exhausting, helping my patients and their families through tough times is one of the things that keeps me motivated in my job.

Originally from Escanaba, Michigan, I’ve has been living in the Green Bay area since attending St. Norbert College where I played football for the Green Knights.  I has a five-year-old son named Troy and a Staffordshire Bull Terrier named Desmo.  We live together with my wonderful fiancé and DWOS teammate, Emily Matesic.

For me, dancing usually involves quite a bit of vodka and looks closer to “The Humpty Dance” than any type of ballroom dancing. So, the night of the event should be interesting…

I’m supporting the American Red Cross because it always seems to be the first one in and the last one out to any tragedy or disaster.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a small local fire or a national emergency; the Red Cross is always there.

Want to support Team E-Rock?  Check out there fun Casino Night event on January 7th.  Click HERE for more information.

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DWOS17 Meet our Star Dancers: Jennie Sykes & Jillian Dempsey – Team Champagne Strut

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Team Champagne Strut – Jennie Sykes

My current occupation is that of Brand Ambassador for Elevate97. While this role has traditionally been focused on client services, it has recently evolved into a sales and marketing position. I was born in and enjoyed a terrific childhood in Neenah. My family then moved to Utah where I spent a lot of time getting really good at being very bad at skiing and mountain climbing and hiking. In general, I’m not very athletic. My only two competitive sports are sledding and whack-a-mole and that one time I took up gymnasium floor hockey.

My son Alrick and I live on the East side of Green Bay in the Astor Park Neighborhood. He is my best friend and favorite side kick and I couldn’t imagine life without him. Being the mother of a pre-teen boy has proven far more interesting than anything I’ve ever done and we’re just getting started.

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Jennie and her dance partner Michael Witte, of Simply Ballroom,  on their first day of practice.

My first dancing recollection was as a four-year-old, playing my record of “Mary Martin’s Peter Pan” at my church basement daycare for the other kids during show and tell. I demanded they all get up and join in the choreography I had crafted from watching a lot of Solid Gold, Fame and Mitzi Gaynor specials. Had sequins not been considered a choking hazard, there would have been costuming involved.

My dream dance partner has been and always will be Liza Minelli. Preferably as she sings something. And if this dream scenario could take place on a stage in late 70’s New York City that would be tremendous.

Who is my favorite dancer of all time on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” and why?  Rumer Willis for the win on this one…tremendous passion, expression and talent. Performance of any kind done well, creates an emotional connection and resonates with everyone around you. Rumer is a wonderful example of this.

Why am I supporting the American Red Cross through DWOS? Discrimination should never be a barrier to being the answer to those in need. Relieving human suffering is a powerful connector and a true catalyst towards creating a greater peace. These are ideas at the core of our mission and they are ideas that I hold as personal values.

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70’s classic rock & KISS themed Halloween Costume Party at Titletown Brewing Co, Tap Room, hosted on October 29 to support the Red Cross. Team Champagne Strut with our amazing Red Cross Volunteers    (l-r) Ann VandeHei, Barb Vanden Langenberg, Jillian Dempsey, Jennie Sykes and Sharon Bryfcznski.

Team Champagne Strut – Jillian Dempsey

I was born in Shreveport, Louisiana. My father’s job took us all over the place, but we finally settled in Iron Mountain, Michigan. The majority of my childhood took place there. But I feel I’m equal parts southern girl and yooper. As a result, I make a mean gumbo and a killer pasty!

Dancing was always a part of my life. Ballet, tap, jazz, gymnastics, competitive cheer (Go Mountaineers!), figure skating, musical theatre, choir… if it involved dancing, I was there.

After high school, I studied communications at Ferris State University. Then I moved around a LOT! (Standing still has never been my strong suit.) Eventually, life led me back to a wonderful man from my hometown. Troy Dempsey and I married in 2008. We moved to Green Bay in 2009, in order to take over The Heel shoe store. Troy is a pedorthist. So this was a perfect fit.

13450204_10153551235266691_2533558317457883653_nThe Heel has existed downtown since the 1970’s. When we took over, Troy was pretty much the only in-store employee. We have grown substantially since then. Troy’s goal has always been providing healthy, quality footwear and educating customers on proper foot health. You would be surprised how much a shoe can help or hurt you!

Somewhere in there we had two fantastic kids. Amelia is 7 and Grey is 4. Amelia is shy, sweet, quiet, gentle, incredibly tall and fantastically nerdy! If you know my husband and I, you are as baffled as we are that we created a shy, quiet human! Grey was a preemie, born at 29 weeks. So his journey has been a crazy one! As a result, he is quite a character! Stubborn, hilarious, loud and dramatic! His only complication is a mild cerebral palsy. Basically it only affects his ability to use his right leg properly. He receives botox and physical therapy and as a result, he is one tough cookie! My kids are by far the biggest part of my life and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

We currently live in the Astor Park area of Green Bay. We absolutely LOVE the community here. I have come to know so many incredible, inspiring people! One of those people being my teammate, neighbor and friend, Jennie Sykes! We have many similarities, but she is far and away the more impressive one! She shines light and love everywhere she goes! She is one of the most creative people I know and a huge inspiration to me. I am SO fortunate to take this journey with her! Not to mention the fact that I never would have taken the steps had she not taken me as her plus one to the event this year!

Who is my dream dance partner? I fell in love with Mikhail Baryshnikov when I saw him dance the Nutcracker. Most people watch it at Christmas time. But from the age of 6, I had that VHS tape in our VCR year-round! I have dreamed of dancing the Nutcracker with him ever since!

As for my favorite dancer on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars”, it’s a tie between Rumer Willis and Meryl Davis. Rumer’s journey was so inspiring to young women everywhere. She was raw, brave and enormously talented. And let’s face it, she and Val were HOT! Everyone who has ever put on a pair of figure skates dreams of being able to move like Meryl Davis. Her skill was breathtaking! I love that she brought a whole new audience to ice dancing!

The American Red Cross is profoundly vital. Among so many ways they help around the world, they are always the first to respond in any disaster. Regardless of race, gender, socioeconomic status, religion… If there is a need, the Red Cross is there. I’ve seen it first-hand. So really, how could anyone refuse the chance to lend their support?