This Saturday, Oct. 14 is an opportunity to watch local celebrities dance – or at least try to – and also support a great cause.
The Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Central Ohio will present the fourth-annual “Dance For Kids’ Sake” at the Ohio University-Chillicothe Shoemaker Center to benefit the agency’s “littles.” This year will feature dance professionals from Simply Dancing in Circleville and Transitions School of Dance in Chillicothe performing with the local celebrities.
Along with what’s sure to be entertaining dance performances, guests will enjoy “A Taste of the Counties” as locally-owned and operated restaurants and caterers will be showcasing their culinary specialties. A cash bar with wine and beer will be featured as well.
A silent auction will be located at the entrance of Shoemaker Center. Packages that have been donated from various local businesses will be up for bid with the proceeds benefiting your favorite dancer in their quest to be crowned “Children’s Champion.”
Those interested can start voting for their favorite celebrity dancer now by visiting DANCEFORKIDSSAKE.KINTERA.ORG.
Doors open at 6 p.m. and the dancing will begin at 7 p.m. General admission is $35. Tables may be purchased by contacting any of the celebrity dancers or by contacting the agency at 740-773-2447.
One of the local celebrities participating is Fayette County’s own Harry Wright, a local radio personality with iHeart Radio.
“Yes, somehow I got roped into this,” Wright said, laughing. “My instructor, Jill, has been great and extremely patient with me. I’ve been taking lessons in Circleville and we basically had to start from scratch. When we first started, she asked me if I knew how to dance at all and I said, ‘Absolutely not.’ So I know she has to be frustrated teaching someone like me to dance even a little bit.”
For Wright though, the mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters and the kind of money an event like this raises for at-risk children are the reasons he’s participating.
“We need to match these kids up with adults who can help them,” said Wright. “Right now in Fayette County, we have 18 littles who are waiting on bigs. The most important thing is to get these kids matched up with a mentor, who can honestly change their lives. These are kids who are at risk of going one way or the other. It’s not a huge financial commitment. These kids just want to spend time with somebody outside of the situation they’re in, which usually isn’t all that great.”
Other celebrities participating in Saturday’s event include Nan Clary and Gaige Patterson, of Chillicothe & Ross County Public Library Infosight Corporation; Elizabeth Johnson, of Petland Inc.; Jessica Costlow and Jeff Collins, of Adena Family Medicine – Circleville Adena OB/GYN; Julie Preston, of Chillicothe Police Department D.A.R.E.; Len Sabitini, a Glatfelter retiree; Jeff Stevens, of Fluor-BWXT; and Chris Medved, of Paint Valley High School.
The mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters is to “provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, research-based, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.”
These children are 7-14-years-old who generally come from single-parent households and face adversity, such as poverty, abuse and an environment of crime and addiction. Families are not charged any fees.
“Community-based mentoring” is the agency’s traditional program that most people think of when they think of Big Brothers Big Sisters. A member of the community at-large is recruited as a role model and matched with a “little brother” or “little sister,” and then they plan their own activities.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Central Ohio has a five-county service area, including Fayette, Highland, Pickaway, Ross and Pike counties. The agency is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization that receives funding from donations, grants and foundations.
“The great thing about this event is that all of the money that is raised stays in the five counties,” said Wright. “There are 127 kids in the five counties who need to be matched up.”
Reach Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352 or on Twitter @rywica