TEGA CAY --
The “Dancing with the Stars – Fort Mill” contestants are just days away from putting on their dancing shoes and competing for the mirror ball trophy. But at the end of the night, contestants and event organizers know that the real winners will be the middle school boys and who benefit from the money raised for middle school sports.
This is the second annual “Dancing with the Stars – Fort Mill” event, one of the biggest fundraisers held each year by the Fort Mill School District Athletic Board to raise money to keep middle school sports alive.
Fundraisers like “Dancing with the Stars – Fort Mill” are critical to the volunteer-run Athletic Board, which was organized by parents in 2010 when funding for middle school sports was cut by the school district.
The Athletic Board raises $60,000 annually to fund middle school sports. Last year, it raised $10,000 with “Dancing with the Stars – Fort Mill”, and hope to match that, or exceed it, this year.
“It’s going really well,” said organizer Lisa McCarley. “Ticket sales have been great.”
VIP tickets are sold out, but show-only tickets are still available for the Saturday night show for $50.
The show promises to be a toe-tapper, with six local celebrity contestants competing for a “mirror ball” trophy, which will be awarded to the contestant with the highest combined score for crowd appeal, fundraising and dance ability.
Fundraising by each contestant has been ongoing for weeks, McCarley said.
“It’s very close at this point and has been changing every minute, with donations and ads coming through,” she added.
Donations can still be made for dancers up to the last minute.
The audience is guaranteed a good time, McCarley said. The dancers have been very secretive about what style of dance each will be performing, she added, which should add a fun element to the show.
Contestants include Tega Cay Councilman Ron Kirby, WBTV sports reporter Sammi Jo Francis, Nation Ford coach Michael Allen, orthodontist Michael Riordan, OB-GYN Ansley Hilton, and York County Coroner Sabrina Gast.
Audience members will participate in the “crowd appeal” portion of the judging. There will also be a raffle including a Chick-fil-A nugget tray, a month membership to a dance school and other items.
“It’s going to be a great time,” she said.
Kelly McKinney, spokesperson for the school district, said that the continued success of the Athletic Board and the Dancing with the Stars event shows the dedication and commitment of the parents and the community.
“The time and talent dedicated to this event by all involved will not only raise funds for middle school sports but it also further supports what we all know to be true, the Fort Mill and Tega Cay area is a wonderful place to raise a family,” she said.