Tia Lynn Lecorchick staff writer
Local Madison “stars” sashayed across the stage of the cultural center competing in an epic dance contest to raise money for the county’s underprivileged children—and they did not disappoint! The Madison-Morgan Boys & Girls Club premier fundraiser of the year, Dancing with the Madison Stars (DWMS), brought in over $40,000 for the organization and was sold out for the fourth year in a row. Organizers for the event were pleased with the outcome, grateful for all the community support. “The evening was one in which all the board and staff felt supported by the community in a way that was both heartwarming and fun!
I was proud to be a part of our Boys & Girls Club and proud to be a part of the community,” said Connie Bryans, president of the Madison-Morgan County Boys & Girls Club Board. “Dancing with Madison’s Stars is our biggest fundraiser for the Madison-Morgan County Boys & Girls Club, and each year it seems to grow in energy, funding and commitment. We at the club are so appreciative of the support of the community and the outpouring of involvement to make DWMS such a success. Thank You!” said LaChrislyn Goss, Unit Director of the Madison-Morgan County Boys & Girls Club. “The people of Madison opened their hearts, checkbooks, and put on their dancing shoes last Thursday for the benefit of our local Madison-Morgan County Boys & Girls Club! It was a pleasure working with an outstanding committee of volunteers! I want to thank them for their time, talents, and dedication for our children,” said Pam Askew, Co-Chair of DWMS 2015. “The Dancing with Madison Stars team was fabulous.
The DWMS committee members, the dancers, the volunteers and the COMMUNITY made the evening a great success. We are all very passionate about the Madison-Morgan County Boys & Girls Club and are thrilled to be involved in such a fantastic fund raising event!” said Vickie Hunt, the Co-Chair of DWMS 2015. The judges awarded first place to Karen Strelecki and Claudia Davis, sponsored by the Steffen Thomas Museum of Art (STMA). First runners up were Jeannie and Travis Rice, sponsored by Farmview Market and Madison Realty. Second runners up were Christine and Matthew Smith, sponsored by Ann and Robert Trulock. The Community Favorite award went to Bridget Wilson and Bobby Robinson, sponsored by Madison Tea Room. “I have enjoyed watching the DWMS dancers in the past and thought this year would be a good time to try to participate, before I’m too old and crippety!” joked first place winner Karen Strelecki, director of the STMA.
“I asked my amazing friend Claudia to get out there with me and I give her total credit for the choice of music and choreography. All the hours of practice were certainly worth it when we consider that played some small part in the success of such a terrific and entertaining fund raiser for the Boys & Girls Club.” Jeannie Rice, one of the night’s winners and a third grade teacher for Morgan County Elementary School, was honored to help raise money for such a worthy cause. “I was already a fan of the Boys & Girls Club based on a fundraiser I attended last spring. The young lady was very candid about the challenges she faced growing up, and how the B&G Club provided her with consistency as well as direction,” said Jeannie Rice. “Once I began teaching here, though, I realized just how much our club does for our students The B&G Club provides our students with homework help, reading support and technology resources. In addition, field trip opportunities give children the chance to have experiences that otherwise might not be possible. Increased experiences mean increased vocabulary and worldviews, which translates to higher expectations for self and more opportunities to relate to a larger community. In short, the B&G Club levels the playing field, giving all children in Morgan County the opportunity to succeed. Had I been asked to stand on my head and whistle for the club, I would have done that, but they just asked me to dance!”
The night was filled with catchy and iconic music, daring dance moves, and fun for all, as contestants gave their all to entertain the crowd and raise money for a good cause. Contestants included Mary Leslie Hartman, Elizabeth Collins, Susan Vaughn, Kim Jackson, Mary Katherine and Jeremy Skidmore, Meghan Holmes, Jeffrey Rowser, Katie Anderson, Dani Stewart, Tom Strott, Jamie and James Williams, Christine and Matthew Smith, Bridget Wilson, Ann and Hoke Smith, Jeannie and Travis Rice, Karen Strelecki, Claudia Davis, Bobby Robinson, Jennifer Hendrix and Jack Meyer.