03/08/13 — Voting in full swing for Stars benefit

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Voting in full swing for Stars benefit

By John Joyce
Published in News on March 8, 2013 1:46 PM

Voting has been open for a month now for the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce and Wayne Education Network's Dancing Stars of Wayne County Battle of the Studios competition. Although a clear leader has emerged, it isn't over until the stars dance.

Dr. Earl Moore, principal of Charles B. Aycock High School, is ahead so far with $1,040 raised. At $10 per on-line vote, the competition is well behind.

The nearest competitor is Assistant District Attorney Terry Light, with $370 raised, and Mathnasium Math Learning Center owner and operator Susan Spengler is currently rounding out third place with $150 raised.

The majority of the money raised will go to fund Wayne Education Network programs, which benefit teachers and students in Wayne County, said Dr. Ed Wilson, president of the Wayne Education Network.

"There are a few operating costs, but the bulk of the money will go toward scholarships, mini-grants, our seventh-grade career fair, the welcome breakfast for new teachers and other teacher recruitment and retention programs," Wilson said.

Lara Landers, the chamber's director of marketing and events, said that there is no target sum, but that the charitable event hopes to raise as much money as possible.

"People can vote online, or with a paper ballot. Tickets are on sale now as well, and each ticket is worth five votes," Ms. Landers said.

Tickets to the show, which will be 6:30 p.m. April 19 at the Paramount Theatre in downtown Goldsboro, are $75. The five votes, she said, can be spread out or all thrown behind one candidate.

"Each studio has three stars, and there are five studios," Ms. Landers said. The winning contestant will be the one who draws the most votes and therefore brings in the most money.

That doesn't mean that the winning candidate's studio will automatically win the studio competition. That will depend on the breakdown of the votes drawn by all three stars assigned to each studio.

Practices have already begun at each of the five dance studios, Center Stage Theatre, Mrs. Robins Academy of Dance, The Goldsboro School of Ballet, Artistic Dance Academy and A Step of Class.

The contestants are listed, with their studio, on the Wayne Education Network's website. There, citizens can vote directly on the site or download and print a paper ballot. Tickets are available for purchase at the chamber of commerce at 308 N. William St.

Excitement is building around the dance-off, in its third year, and preparations for the big show are set to begin next week. Organizers expect nothing short of a sell-out.

A cocktail hour will precede the show, and will include "drinks and heavy hors d'oeuvres."

"It should be very entertaining," Ms. Landers said. "The studios are excited and the contestants are happy to be raising money for such a good cause."