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March 8, 2014

Dancing Stars to grace the stage in Tifton May 10

TIFTON — There are some folks hard at work in the area – they've strapped on their dancing shoes and are prepping for the second annual Dancing Stars of South Georgia, set for May 10 at the UGA-Tifton Conference Center, starting at 6:30 p.m.

And at least one of them is terrified.

The event is the premier fundraiser for the local Alzheimer's Association, which serves multiple counties in South Georgia, including Tift, Ben Hill, Irwin, Turner, Worth, Berrien, Colquitt, Cook and Lowndes.

More than $74,000 was raised last year, and according to event organizer Dan Phillips, the goal this year is $110,000.

The money is raised in several ways: the dancers work to raise funds through sponsor, table and ticket sales, and you can vote for the dancers for $1 each.

Dancing from Tifton this year are Charleston Carter, Sandy Sims and Katie Tenneson. Other dancers include Haley Clark, paired with dancing pro Ashley Helton; Ray Cross, paired with Angela Stoecker; Paige Harrell, with pro Steven Cantrell; Emily Plummer, with pro Tony Mangiapane; and April Reardon, with pro Gary Fowler.

Carter, who is paired with pro dancer Serena Garcia, is a court administrator with the Tifton Judicial Circuit, and views the event as an opportunity to support a worthy cause, the Alzheimer's Association.

"Although I am not currently a top-notch dancer, I am very excited and I can only view my participation as a win-win situation," he said. "Not only will I be helping others, in the process of training and preparation, I will also be doing some much-needed toning and reshaping of my own body. Thus, we both gain something from my participation."

Sims grew up in Tifton, and is a senior partner in Sims, Fleming, Hudson & Crosby in Tifton. He's a member of First Baptist Church, and is active in such organizations as the Tifton Rotary Club and Tifton Elks Club.

"I am honored to compete in Dancing Stars of South Georgia 2014. Alzheimer’s disease touches so many lives and I want to do my part to help find a cure for this cruel disease and also help those families living in South Georgia who deal with it on a daily basis," he said.

Tenneson says she is both terrified and honored to be a part of this event.

" I do not dance. I will require the Lord's help. My husband tells me that I look like Elaine on Seinfeld when I dance (not a real confidence builder) and I worked hard to get out of this event.  However, I have been raised to believe that to those who much is given much is expected. I hope that by jumping out of my comfort zone for such an amazing cause it may encourage others to do the same and teach my children that life is sweetest when strengthening others," she said. "Alzheimer's has touched my life and my heart and I will spend the remainder of my life doing all I can to assist those affected and fight for a cure but I would not be dancing in public if not blessed with the love and support of Joe and Beth Lewis.  I can never thank them enough for their love, kindness and Joe being my 'professional' partner and friend in this event."  

The night begins with a cocktail hour at 6:30 p.m., and dinner will be served at 7. The competition will begin shortly after that. Trophies will be presented to the People's Choice Winner, the dancer who raises the most money, and the Judges' Choice Winner, as selected by a panel of local celebrity judges.

To vote and learn more about the event or to vote for your favorite dancer, go online at http://act.alz.org/ site/TR?fr_id=6117&pg=entry.

To contact editor Angye Morrison, call 382-4321.

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