07/02/14 — 'Dancing' fundraiser to be held this month

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'Dancing' fundraiser to be held this month

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on July 2, 2014 1:46 PM

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Kevin Fortney and Beth Dawley practice the cha-cha at Top Hat Studio that they will perform during the Stars Dancing for a Cure fundraiser at Walnut Creek Country Club this month.

Cancer survivors, caregivers and those who have lost loved ones to the disease are rehearsing for a fundraiser later this month to benefit Relay for Life.

"Stars Dancing for a Cure" will be presented at Walnut Creek Country Club on July 26, featuring dinner and a show.

Participants' partners are either instructors or students at Top Hat Ballroom Dance Studio, said Norman Hooker, an instructor as well as organizer of the event.

"We wanted to do a show like this, wanted to have it go back to what was successful before," he said, referencing the studio's involvement several years ago with the Chamber of Commerce-sponsored "Dancing Stars of Wayne County" fundraiser which benefits local education efforts.

"My wife and I started dancing in 1973 and then in 1977, we were lucky enough to win a national championship. We have been instructors since 1980," he said. "We have owned four Arthur Murray studios."

One reason Hooker decided to contribute to this cause was because of his own connection to cancer. In addition to the loss of family members to the disease, he said the best man at his wedding succumbed to it.

The premise for the upcoming fundraiser was to enlist local residents who had survived cancer as the "stars," he said, but it has grown into including those who are caregivers or dancing in memory of a loved one.

Fifteen have signed up for the challenge and are currently in rehearsals for the big day, with tickets now on sale and a website established to vote for the dancing favorite.

The site address, starsdancingforacure.com, contains information about the event and offers the opportunity to vote for your favorite dancer.

Participants on the survivors side and their partners include:

* Joyce Aycock, a cook at Northwest Elementary School, with Norman Hooker

* Beth Dawley, a barber at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, with instructor Kevin Fortney

* Red Driver, retired, with Shirley Hughes

* Jimmie Ford, motivational speaker, with Joy Williams

* Victoria Foster, employed by AAP containers, with Hooker

* Olivia Haveri, 11-year-old home-schooled student, with Marty Barbour

* Courtney Horton, homemaker and mother of two, dancing with her husband, Dr. Teague Horton

* Ron Michalowice, retired, dancing with Joann Barbour

* Deana Royner, a photographer and mother, with Kevin Amory

* Patsy Spear, retired nurse from Deep Run, with Carl "Bubba" Williams

* Patricia Warren, professional ballet dancer and owner of "Dance for Christ," with Reagan Johnson

Caregiver participants include:

* Alice Adams, nurse, dancing in memory of her husband, with Hooker

* Jimmie Edmundson, retired, dancing in memory of his mother and sister, with Joy Williams

* Calvin Long, employed at AP Exhaust, dancing in memory of a brother and sister, is partnering with his niece, Rebecca Bouna

* Beth Williams who, with partner Brian Williams, are co-owners of Dancing Butterfly, both lost their fathers to cancer.

The July 26 event will start at 6 p.m. with dinner, followed by the show at 7:15 p.m. Starlight Dance Band will also play at 7 p.m. and throughout the show.

Three judges will be at the event to critique the dancers, with two trophies handed out at the evening's end -- one for dancing, determined by the judges, and the other for the participant who raises the most money for the cause.