TERRE HAUTE —
Twelve Wabash Valley celebrities are strapping on their dancing shoes and practicing their steps for the seventh annual Dancing with the Terre Haute Stars fundraiser to benefit CHANCES for Indiana Youth.
The new group met on Wednesday at Union Hospital to receive instructions on the fundraising process. Statistics of past fundraisers were also announced.
First Financial Bank is the event’s title-sponsor. First’s Sally Whitehurst, a past competitor in the event, said the annual fundraiser has raised over half a million dollars over the last six years, with proceeds going to help the local youth programs.
Brandon Halleck, chief operating officer for CHANCES, said funds go toward summer camps, local families, food programs, resources for child care and financial assistance.
The dancers support the cause, and among them is Norm Loudermilk, president of Terre Haute City Council and a Terre Haute firefighter. “This is an opportunity to be their voice,” he said. “We can show everyone that they can get involved with our youth and do something good for the community.”
Another contestant, Brenda Bonine, representing First Financial Bank in this year’s fundraiser, agrees it is important to put “our best foot forward.”
Competitors are expected to go to 10 dance lessons to learn their assigned routines. “Fun and easy,” Halleck called them.
Halleck’s words didn’t convince Loudermilk, who jokingly said his main mission is “to survive.”
“Every new adventure is nerve-racking,” he added. “Dancing is a whole new thing to me. Usually, this event sells out, so the pressure is there.”
Bonine added that she is a little nervous she will forget the routine between lessons.
“When you’re out of your element, performing becomes difficult,” Whitehurst said while advising Bonine.
Contestants are given 200 points for every table of eight sold. For every other dollar raised, they are given one point, and they will receive 50 percent of the fair market value of any item they donate for the silent auction.
The competition is being held Sept. 27 with the doors opening at 5:30 p.m., dinner being served at 7 p.m. Dancing begins at 8 p.m. in Hulman Center. Tickets are $60 a person or $480 for a table of eight.
Some programs benefited by the fundraiser are Big Brothers Big Sisters of Vigo County, Child Care Resource and Referral, Camp RAVE, Teen Court and others. For more information on CHANCES programs and services, visit its website at www.casyonline.org.
To order tickets, contact any of the contestants or call Billie Kaufman at 812-232-5190.
Reporter Dustyn Fatheree can be reached 812-231-4255 and dustyn.fatheree
List of contestants for the 2013 Dancing with the Terre Haute Stars:
• Sydney Benter, WTWO-TV
• Brenda Bonine, First Financial Bank
• Rob Coons, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
• Brittany Earl, WTHI-TV
• Ron Hernandez, Ultimate Fitness and Bariatric Center
• Ryan Loftus, DuPont
• Norm Loundermilk, Terre Haute City Council
• Rob Measel, Century 21 Advantage
• Heather Miklozek, Indiana State University
• Alan Morrison, Indiana state representative and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
• Tammy Pearson, Vigo County School Corp.
• Kim Perkins, Union Hospital