Get to Know DWOS All-Star: Billi Jo Baneck

I am a full-time 911 dispatcher for Brown County Public Safety and Bridal Coordinator at Ruby Design. I
grew up a farm girl in Wautoma, the oldest of six children. My parents and youngest brother Charlie
were killed in a house fire in 2008 and I eventually made my way to Green Bay.

My hobbies include: crafting, wino nights, traveling, and spending time with my nieces. I also took up
public speaking—conquering one of my greater fears in order to share my story with others.

Volunteering has been a passion of mine my entire life, but became increasingly stronger after I lost my
family members. I became a Red Cross Volunteer with the Disaster Team and Dispatch Team. I volunteer
at the schools, for police supporter organizations, and anywhere else that asks for help.

DWOS 2017 was such a great experience that involved so many amazing moments! First off…any time
with “The Hoochies” is bound to be entertaining! Practices with Michael always left my face stretched
out from laughing so much! (Mina often wondered how we learned anything by working together—said
it was like listening to siblings goof off the entire hour). However, even through all the nerves and
shaking legs and unsure mind, being on the dance floor surrounded by so many supporters was THE
BEST moment of all. Watching video of my sister Katie being a blubbering mess will always come back to
haunt her…and warm my heart, all at the same time.

Why did I decide to take part in DWOS All-Stars? My story isn’t finished yet. Every time I do something
that takes me outside my comfort zone, people see that, and a lot respect that and try to emulate that.
I’ve learned over the years that being my own strong person makes those around me stronger too. Zeb
and Bill started this journey with me three years ago with Bill and we are in a unique position to end it
all together. The amazing people that are involved in DWOS become family. I am honored to be a part of
this family and wouldn’t miss the last goodbye for anything!

Get to Know: Jody Weyers from the American Red Cross

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”

― Eleanor Roosevelt

IMG_2567 Jody

photo by Frievalt Photography, llc

How many of you have heard of “the bucket list”? It is a list of things you want to do before you “kick the bucket.” Do you have a bucket list?  I do, and some of the things on that list include; dipping my toe in all four of the oceans (have three of the four complete), Visiting all seven continents (four of seven done) and to run a half marathon. I must admit, ballroom dancing was not on the list.

At first, my coworkers and I joked about me dancing, and then it was like, “Jody, why don’t you” and I thought….. Let’s add it to the bucket list!

February 11, 2014 will be my 40th birthday, so if there was going to be a year to dance this would be the year!

Forty years ago, this small town girl was born to Larry and Bea Weyers. I grew up on a 70 acre hobby farm in Black Creek (population 1,028) with an older sister and younger brother and we raised pigs and horses. I graduated from Shiocton High School in 1992 with a whopping graduating class of 56 people! I knew from early on that I wanted to experience and see as much of this big world as I could, but coming from a small town it was scary to venture too far.

I chose to go to college at UW-Green Bay, and I graduated in 1996 with a degree in communications. I must admit, I had no idea what I wanted to go to school for and communications was the only major I didn’t have to take statistics, so that is what I did…. Who knew it would lead me to where I am today.

I can honestly say, I have one of the greatest jobs as the Volunteer and Communications Director for the American Red Cross and have been here for over 12 years. A big part as to why it is so great is because of our volunteers.  Every day I am inspired by the dedication and passion that our volunteers have for the Red Cross.

My passion is inspiring others to get involved in the community and volunteer. I tell people all the time, my job as a volunteer manager is to connect people with their passion, and if it is with the Red Cross, than that is just a bonus.

As communications director, I am very visible in the community, but for most events, I am used to being behind the scenes. Participating in Dancing with Our Stars will definitely be taking me out of my comfort zone. I look forward to bonding and sharing this experience with my fellow star dancer, and thank them for their support. I also look forward to the challenge of raising funds for an organization that has given so much to me, and I want to do my part to give back.

In honor of this milestone birthday, my fundraising goal is $40,000 — “40 for 40”!  I hope you follow me on my journey on our blog: www.redcrossdwosblog.org , on twitter @jweyers2 and VOTE for me!!! #DWOS14

See you on the dance floor!!

Dance Questions:

Describe your first dancing recollection. About how old were you and what was the occasion?  My first dance recollection was the dreaded grade school dances.  I have images of lots of pastel colored shirts, bracelets, and earrings, along with big bangs & all of us thinking we were so cool…..  Later in life, people may have caught me shaking my thing at a Lovemonkeys concert.

Who is your dream dance partner? I was really hoping I would have won our “Dance with Donald” last year!!

Who is your favorite dancer of all time on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” and why?  My favorite professional dancer would be Derek Huff.  He seems to really know how to get the best out of his partners, and work with them to their fullest potential.

Why support the American Red Cross with your participation? I see the direct impact our programs and services provide to the members of the community and our amazing volunteers who help deliver the services. Being an employee of the Red Cross, I am always fundraising to support the organization, but this is something completely out of the box for me, but I look forward to the challenge.

Hobbies or passions: I love to travel, and two years ago I went on an 11 day mission trip to Swaziland, Africa. This trip was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I also like to get involved in the community, from attending, volunteering or being a part of the planning of local events. You can see me cruising on my 1970 Schwinn most weekends downtown or hitting up the Fox River Trail on my road bike.  I also enjoy live music! Some of my favorite local WI artists include: The Lovemonkeys, Rob Anthony, Keith Pulvermacher, Ryan McIntryre, and many others.

BdayBash_40for40_poster - FINAL