Get to Know – DWOS14 All Star – Jody Weyers

Love these people! My volunteer crew for my 40th Birthday Bash Fundraiser!

It’s hard to believe it was four years ago I competed in the 2014 Dancing with Our Stars for the American Red Cross. When I look back on my journey I can honestly say it was one of the most rewarding and humbling experiences of my life.  To this day, I continue to be humbled by all the people who supported me along the way and who contributed to my fundraising campaign in shattering my goal of raising $40,000. My final fundraising total was $56,182.57!

Here we are in year 10 and the final year – it is bitter sweet!  I have been involved with this event since it was just an idea that came out of the mouth of one of our board members, Jim Gagnon, and here we are nine years later, 95 community dancers who gave of their heart and soul to support the American Red Cross and more than $2 million dollars raised for program and services.

People ask me all the time, if so successful, why is this the last year? Fundraisers have a shelf life and DWOS has had an amazing run, but it has gotten harder and harder to find people who can give the time, willing to make the commitment and have the network to be able to raise the minimum commitment we ask.

Reading over my 2014 bio (click HERE to read) so much has changed in my life, but one thing that has not changed is my work and passion for the Red Cross (16 years) and my commitment to engage and be an advocate for volunteering.

In my 2014 bio I talked about my bucket list – in the four years since, I can proudly check off: ballroom dancing, running a ½ marathon, traveling to India and seeing the Taj Mahal and I moved from Green Bay to Madison.

December 2016 in front of the Taj Mahal, Agra, India

My current role with the Red Cross is Donor Recruitment Manager. I work with our community sponsor groups in Sauk and Columbia Counties and in the cities of DeForest, Windsor and Waunakee in setting up blood drives and educating the community about the importance of giving blood.

I am very fortunate I continue to work with an amazing group of volunteers from our blood drive coordinators to all our volunteers working at the drives and those behind the scenes helping to put up posters in their community, clearing the donation space of tables and chairs before the drive and being advocates to recruit donors.

Recently I was reminded, once again, the impact Red Cross volunteers have within a community when disaster strikes.  May 31, 2017, there was an explosion at the Didion Corn Mill in Cambria killing five and many others injured and needing lifesaving blood due to their injuries. Our disaster volunteers were on site immediately supporting all the emergency crews and our mental health volunteers were there to help the families impacted by being the shoulder to lean on, giving out lots of hugs, listening and providing comfort and guidance when their world has been turned upside down.  I saw the impact of the community near and far wanting to help – how they helped was by coming out and donating blood. Five days after the explosion we had a blood drive in the nearby town of Randolph.  Our goal was 56 units and we collected 80 units for a potential of 240 lives saved.  We had to turn people away because we ran out of blood bags.  The community support was again humbling and very heart-warming.

Post from donor, Madeline Spooner: We all gave blood today ❣️💉 to help victims injured in the Didion explosion in Cambria, WI. My heart breaks for the people who lost their lives, including Duel Block who was best friends with all of these sweet kids. Red Cross’ goal was to collect 56 units and a total of 80 units were given. A potential of 240 lives saved! Feels so good to do good and be surrounded by such amazing, lovely people.

Over my 16 years of working with the Red Cross and volunteers I have witnessed countless acts of kindness and am blessed to have crossed paths with some of the greatest people in our community.

My goal for the 2018 Dancing with Our Stars and the goal of our amazing All-Star dance crew is to make this year the BIGGEST and raise the MOST money from any other year. Our goal is to raise more than  $600,000.  I hope you will give a gift in support of me and the American Red Cross! (click HERE to donate).

In closing, I want to give a special thank you to Shawn Kiser, Executive Producer of DWOS. You are the big brother I never had. I am forever grateful for our friendship, teamwork, your positive “go big or go home” attitude and for always having my back. We have had so many amazing memories and laughs since you came on board in 2012. I also want to give a shout out to my #RAGECREW –— You know who you are. I am looking forward to putting on my dance shoes once again for one final performance for the Red Cross Dancing with Our Stars …… The Last Dance!!!

Here are my videos from my 2014 Dancing with our Stars journey! 

American Red Cross Announces Dates for next Dancing with Our Stars Campaign

DWOS 2017 Title Treatment-page-001The next campaign of the American Red Cross Dancing with Our Stars fundraiser is set. It will begin with a kickoff party Tuesday, October 4 and culminate with the dancing show on Saturday, February 25, 2017 at the KI Convention Center in Downtown Green Bay.

For the first time in its nine-year history, DWOS is recruiting teams to compete in the event in addition to its traditional individual participants. The teams will consist of two participants who will work together to raise funds. Divisions will then be created for teams and individuals with those raising the most money in each category taking home the coveted Fundraising Mirror Ball Trophy. Regarding dancing, each participant will learn and perform one dance.

We are actively seeking suggestions for possible participants. Please email them to Shawn Kiser at skrallyman@gmail.com.

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

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.

DWOS 2016 raised more than $200,000 for the local Red Cross.  Karen Classon, Owner of SKB Management, took home the Fundraising Mirror Ball Trophy after raising $87,000.

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 blog: http://redcrossdwosblog.org

Facebook: www.facebook.com/americanredcrossnortheastwisconsinchapter/

Twitter: @redcrosswis (#DWOS17 to join the conversation)

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.

“Dancing with Our Stars” for the American Red Cross moving to KI Convention Center in Downtown Green Bay

6th annual event will be held Saturday, February 15th, 2014

Downtown Green Bay is the new destination for the annual “Dancing with Our Stars”event benefiting the American Red Cross of Northeast Wisconsin. The KI Convention Center will host the prestigious fundraiser Saturday, February 15, 2014. The event, now in its sixth year, resembles ABC Television’s hit “Dancing with the Stars” and features ten community members (known as “star dancers”) who compete both on the dance floor and to raise money for the local Red Cross.

“We are excited about partnering with the KI Convention Center and continuing to grow our amazing event,” says Shawn Kiser, Special Events Coordinator for the Red Cross.  “Dancing with Our Stars sells out every year and we look forward to the opportunity to entertain 1,000 guests at the KI.”

“We welcome the Red Cross and DWOS event to downtown with open arms.  Their event will be a unique addition to the growing list of activities taking place throughout the year in the Green Bay’s cultural center.” said Jeff Mirkes, Executive Director, Downtown Green Bay, Inc. & Olde Main Street, Inc.

The 2013 Dancing with Our Stars campaign, headlined by last month’s dancing competition, raised nearly $370,000 in net revenue for the Red Cross. Betina Drivertook home the coveted Mirror Ball Fundraising Trophy. She danced with her husband, former Green Bay Packers wide receiver Donald Driver, and raised $158,000.

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. 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.

The participants for Dancing with Our Stars 2014 will be announced sometime this fall. To nominate someone, email Shawn Kiser: Shawn.Kiser@redcross.org.

Dancing with our Stars blog: redcrossdwosblog.org

Facebook: facebook.com/NEWRedCross

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

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.