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.

 

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: Lusine Weitz and Kelly Wolff – Team Vixen!

Lusine Weitz

img_0494I was born in Gyumri, Armenia.  I lived in my hometown until the Spitak earthquake devastated my town and region in 1988.  50,000 Armenians lost their lives and 130,000 suffered injuries in this tragedy.  In the aftermath, my family moved to Yoshkar-Ola, Russia where I obtained a degree in music.  Additionally, I graduated from the Moscow Open Social University where I earned a degree in law.  In 2006, I met my husband in Russia and move to the United States.  In 2009, I established a commercial cleaning company in Appleton called NC Janitorial, Inc.

Since coming to America, I’ve sought to cultivate my lifelong love of dance.  I am extremely blessed to be a student of the talented Mr. Terry Irwin, owner of TC Dance Club.  I am very excited to participate in Dancing with Our Stars.

Over the years, I’ve waited for an opportunity to give back to the American Red Cross.  I’m committed to the Red Cross and its important mission. I’ve seen firsthand the critical difference this organization makes in literally saving people’s lives around the world.  In my hometown of Gyumri, thousands of people would have perished if not for the quick response to this earthquake.  Within days of this tragedy, advance teams of rescue personnel were on site, and within a week hundreds of Red Cross volunteers were also there. If you want to see a thankful community, come visit Gyumri.  You will never find a town that is so appreciative of the work of the Red Cross.

 

Kelly Wolff

img_3960I am very excited to be participating in Dancing with Our Stars for the American Red Cross. Not only do I love to dance, I am honored to help raise money and bring awareness to the Red Cross and the work it does. But this event and what we are doing isn’t really about me, it’s about all of us. Volunteering and supporting volunteer organizations is a part of how we show our compassion for each other and how we reinforce our sense of community. When we do it we truly get more out of it then we give. With this in mind, I’d like to thank you for supporting this event and helping those in need.

My mother, Debbie Wolff, used to go out dancing while she was pregnant with me. And she passed this along to me. So I guess you could say I’ve been dancing since before I was born! From there I have fun memories of dancing with my girlfriends in my parents’ basement, performing on the Cedarburg High School and St. Norbert College dance teams, coaching the Cedarburg Colts Cheer & Dance Team for a decade, and of learning and loving ballroom dancing from Terry and Toby at TC Dance Club in Appleton. While there, I am able to dance with my dream dance partner, my husband, Arnie Enz. I don’t think anything can top our wedding dance.

During the day, I work as a formulation scientist at Kimberly-Clark designing lotions and potions for their personal care product lines. I have been working toward a Masters in Cosmetic Chemistry from the University of Cincinnati, though I took the last semester off to get married. Kimberly-Clark is very supportive of my volunteer activities and has given me many wonderful opportunities to organize STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) activities for kids on campus and in the local schools. Since I love to dance, I also work as an instructor at Aerial Dance Pole Exercise, a fitness-based aerial arts studio for women to safely build strength and confidence while having fun!

Oh, and as for my favorite DWTS performer, there are just too many to name. But while I can always appreciate a perfect routine, I can’t help but to root for the underdog who doesn’t have a dance or an athletic background, yet is still is still making significant improvements every week.

Looking for a fun way to support Team Vixen?  Check out their “Rockabilly Christmas” Party for the Red Cross, Sunday, December 18 at the Butte des Morts Country Club. Click HERE for more details.  Can’t make the party? Vote for this dynamic duo!

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Ryan Martin — Dancing With Our Stars Auction: 12 Days of Bidding:

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Kick off your holiday shopping (or treat yourself) while supporting a great cause. This online auction has a variety of wonderful and unique items and experiences available thanks to the generosity of family and friends of Ryan Martin as well as community supporters.

All of the items have been donated, so the proceeds from this online auction will 100% benefit the American Red Cross and help Ryan Martin reach his Dancing with our Stars fundraising goal. You will have twelve days of bidding — this auction runs Monday, November 28 through Saturday, December 9.

Click HERE to get started!!

Check the Facebook page for the last day of the auction, so you can check back in on your bids just in time!