Delaware Stars dance to a charitable tune


DOVER — Saturday night’s eighth annual Dancing with the Delaware Stars at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino was an evening full of glittering gowns, crisp tuxedos and energetic choreography.

But most would agree that the night’s true magic was in how much money it raised for Mom’s House of Dover and the Greater Dover Boys & Girls Club.

“This is our biggest Dancing with the Stars yet,” said event founder and chairwoman Terri Brown. “There are about 1,000 people here and we’ve raised almost $200,000 — the most people we’ve ever had and the most money we’ve ever raised. The total will be split down the middle between both organizations.”

Mom’s House is a service that provides free child care for single parents attending either high school or college full-time and the Boys & Girls Club offers affordable before and after school care for kids from kindergarten through high school.

The money is raised by the event through ticket sales, donations, sponsorships and a live auction. Ms. Brown auctioned off a four-digit Delaware license plate for $14,000 during the event.

In what Ms. Brown said was one of the closest contests in the event’s history, Scott Brown, managing partner of RF Book & Associates and WMG Advisors, and Autumn Schneider, president of Diane Drulis Dance Foundation, were crowned the winners Saturday night as they electrified the crowd with their disco-themed routine to the Donna Summer classic “Last Dance.” It was in fact the last dance of the evening.

The dancers’ scores were determined by how much money they raised, overall scores by the judges and votes from the attendees.

Sitting on the judges panel this year were last year’s winner, Kent County Levy Court chief code enforcement officer Shannon Morris, Miss Delaware 2016 Amanda Debus and Delmarva Broadcasting radio personality Norman Short.

Other couples competing were:

•Jennifer Durham, founder and president of Charitable Dames, and Kyle Sammons, group fitness instructor at YMCA;

•Syreeta Adams-Harris, co-owner of Harris Towing and event coordinator at Bayhealth, and Raykeem Ward, founder of Dreams of Hope;

•Mary Johnson, owner/operator of Chick-fil-A North Dover, and Bobby MacLeish Jr. of Lighthouse Construction;

•Christina Lessard, of Lessard Builders and co-founder of Gals That Give, and Sean Floyd, CNU Fit lead trainer;

•Conny Malmberg, attorney and director of Young, Malmberg & Howard and Michele Xiques, owner of First State Dance Academy;

•Michael O’Connor, vice president of Privatin Consulting, and Stephanie Harrison, administrative and financial manager of 3rd Airlift Squadron

•Tom Windley, founding partner of Premier PT & Sports Performance, and Kim Gomes, lobbyist with The Byrd Group;

•Kevin Yingling, energy service manager with Delaware Electric Coop and Jessica Moyer, personal trainer and fitness instructor at YMCA.

Following the competition, the floor was open to all for dancing and then the night continued in a separately ticketed after party in the Diamond Room at Dover Downs.

To learn more about the event, visit dancingdestars.org.

Reach staff writer Ian Gronau at igronau@newszap.com

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