Tifton Gazette

Local News

February 2, 2013

Alzheimer’s Association sponsors Dancing Stars of South Georgia

TIFTON — ABC’s hit series Dancing with the Stars has inspired the local Alzheimer’s Association to mimic an episode of the show by presenting their very own dancing competition called Dancing Stars of South Georgia. This event will take place Saturday, May 4 at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center. It will benefit the South Georgia Region of the Alzheimer’s Association, Georgia Chapter.

According to Dan Phillips, development director for the South Georgia Region of the Alzheimer’s Association, Georgia Chapter, the event will include food, drinks, dancing, performances and fun.

“We anticipate a fun, glitzy, sparkly event for an important cause,” he said.

There will be approximately eight to 12 pairs of dancers. “Star” dancers will be paired with a “pro” partner/instructor in February-March. Pairings will be made to provide for the best opportunity for a wonderful performance and the overall success of the event. Once all of the star dancers have been identified, there will be a simple meet and greet for all cast members to meet each other in mid to late February. Phillips noted that over half of the cast members have been confirmed. The final cast will be announced within two weeks.

“We have partnered with several professional dancers and studios to help coordinate the dancing, choreography, practices, etc.,” he said. “Through that partnership, we will provide each star a pro partner or pro instructor to choreograph, select music for and teach an approximately 90-second dance, which will be performed at the event on May 4.”

Former Gov. Sonny Perdue’s wife, Mary, and her pro partner Carl Candiano were one of the featured couples in Dancing Stars of Central Georgia, which benefited the Central Georgia region of the Alzheimer’s Association. This event was held last year at the City Auditorium in Macon. Growing up in Nashville, Tenn., Mary studied classical ballet with the Nashville Ballet Society. In 1964, she moved with her family to Atlanta, where she continued to study ballet as a member of the Southern Ballet Company. She earned a BSEd in speech pathology from the University of Georgia and a masters degree from Ohio State University in 1973. Her maternal grandmother suffered with Alzheimer’s disease for 10 years. Her mother currently suffers from dementia at age 90.

Phillips said revenue from the event will result from three potential sources — ticket sales, pre-event and night of event voting ($1 equals one vote), and business/community sponsors. Sponsorship and table sales are going on now for cast members. General table and individual ticket sales will begin March 4. Phillips stated that the association’s goal is to raise $100,000.

“This is one of two major fundraisers we do in the South Georgia region with the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in the fall being the other,” he explained.

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