Greater Anderson Rotary Club Raises $70,000 at ‘Dancing’ Event  
Friday, April 29, 2011 at 7:45AM

ANDERSON – The Rotary Club of Greater Anderson will distribute funds raised by the 5th Annual Dancing for Our Heroes event at its meeting this Thursday, April 28. Over $70,000 was raised for six nonprofits and the PolioPlus initiative of Rotary International.

The event, which was held at the Civic Center of Anderson on April 8, is modeled after the popular ABC TV show, Dancing With the Stars. Benefiting charities this year are the Anderson Free Clinic, Anderson Interfaith Ministries, the Cancer Association of Anderson, Foothills Alliance, Hospice of the Upstate, and the South Carolina Military Family Care Association.

 Each charity fielded a “celebrity” dancer who paired up with an experienced ballroom partner in a competition dance. Dancers were judged by a panel for the Judges’ Choice trophy. The dancers who raised the most money for their charity won the Peoples’ Choice trophy.

Kristi King-Brock, executive director of Anderson Interfaith Ministries, won the Judges’ Choice trophy by doing a cha-cha with her partner Wayne Conover. The Peoples’ Choice winner was Dr. Veena Mathur, a radiologist, who also danced a cha-cha, partnered with Scott Drake. Dr. Mathur raised over $20,000 for the Cancer Association of Anderson.

 Other participants were dentist Dr. Bob Austin, dancing the quick-step with Mary Ann McBride for the Anderson Free Clinic; Sheriff John Skipper dancing the rumba with Yvonne Conover for the Foothills Alliance; Taylor Thompson, who danced a cha-cha with Dennis Adams for Hospice of the Upstate; and Glenn Skawski, who performed a waltz with Lisa Burns for the S.C. Military Family Care Association. 

All told, the dancers raised over $54,000 for their charities. The remaining funds to be distributed Thursday came from ticket sales and proceeds of live and silent auctions at the event. 

Greater Anderson Rotary President Kathryn Smith noted that the cost of the event was kept low by donations of dinner for 300 guests by Cromer Food Services as well as donations of beverages by area stores and Carolina Beer Company. The Civic Center of Anderson discounted its rental cost, and the Independent-Mail donated advertising. Many other individuals donated products and services to the event.

Mrs. Smith said this year’s gross far outdistanced the $49,000 raised in 2010 by Dancing for Our Heroes, which had more than doubled what was raised in 2009. “We love giving a new platform for so many charities to raise money, rather than having them put so much time and energy into planning and executing competing fund-raising events,” she said.

Plans are already underway for the 6th Dancing for Our Heroes in 2012.

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