The most successful Dancing with Vero’s Stars has proven to be the 10th Anniversary, celebrated Saturday evening, May 12 at Riverside Theatre. History was made when a record high total of $349,554K was announced, raised over a period of 6 months by a competitive cast of a new cast of ten star dancers. Surpassing all expectations anticipated by the Indian River County Healthy Start Coalition, this new record setting total brings the gross income of Dancing with Vero’s Stars, to over $2.5 million raised for the non-profit since its inception in 2009.
The Mirror Ball trophy went to Tracey Zudans and her dance partner Robert Scott. Ms. Zudans was the highest fundraiser of the competition with a total of $75,878 and shared the Best Dancer award with Ron Toperzer and his partner Shari Tessier who also won the First Runners-up position. Star Dancer Giuliana Diaz Jones and her pro dancer Joe Tessier took the Second Runner-up spot. The dancer with the highest on-line donations, winning season tickets to Riverside Theatre was Tracey Zudans. The Grand Raffle, “Spirits for the Stars” was won by Jane Rollins.
The 655 seat sold-out Theatre brought people to their feet with multiple standing ovations, while the four-hour evening glowed with tasty food, impeccable décor and a brilliant Grand Raffle valued at thousands of dollars for one lucky winner. Add in unlimited entertainment delivered by ten star dancers and their pro instructors, cleverly-produced star videos, a team of highly trained personality-driven judges and two impeccable emcees who moved the evening along to the sounds of thunderous applause, boisterous hoorays and raucous laughter.
The event was emceed for the 10th year by broadcasting veteran Hamp Elliott and judged by Barry Johnson of Melbourne Ballroom, Dee Rose-Imbro and Chris Foster, each accomplished “triple-threat” performers in their own right, along with tabulator/accountant Ross Cotherman of Rehmann. The Red Carpet extravaganza, which set the stage for an evening of unparalleled class and utter excitement, was emceed by Vero Beach’s own Tiffany Corr, a seasoned NBC sports reporter and Red Carpet broadcaster. Riverside Theatre flawlessly handled all production aspects of this Broadway-style show all the way through to the dramatic award ceremony capped off with a stage-filled blast of multi – colored confetti and streamers.
“We are so grateful and humbled by the contributions of this year’s Dancing with Vero’s Stars dancers and instructors,” commented Andrea Berry, the Chief Executive Officer of the Healthy Start Coalition and Dr. Glenn Tremml, President of the Board of Directors, as well as Co-Chairs of the event Karen Franke and Lisa Thompson Barnes, both former mirror ball-trophy winners. “Therefore, we will apply the monies raised to deliver the greatest impact for servicing our pregnant women, infants and young children and our county. Our local programs receiving funds are: Healthy Start Care Coordination, Healthy Families, Babies & Beyond, Parents as Teachers, Momcare and to Neighborhood Outreach Groups for mothers and fathers of our young children.”
Ten local “star” dancers, matched with ten local dance instructors, dressed in tinsel and glitter, danced with joy and pride as they performed ….
Star Dancer Angela Novak with Sergio Cisneros-Dancing Hip Hop
Star Dancer Tammy Bursick with Joe Wynes-Dancing Merengue, Bachata, West Coast Swing, Hip Hop and Disco
Star Dancer Richard Giessert with Marianella Tobar Dancing the Argentine Tango
Star Dancer Ben Earman with Kaylan Keathley –Dancing the Brazillian Zouk and Cha-cha
Star Dancer Katya Bailor with Manolo Soler-Dancing the Waltz
Star Dancer Ron Toperzer with Shari Tessier –Dancing an Interpretive Showcase
Star Dancer Giuliana Diaz Jones with Joe Tessier-Dancing a Latin Medley
Star Dancer Tor Jones with Karren Walter –Dancing the Samba
Star Dancer David Thomas with Yvonne Miller-Dancing the Cha Cha Cha
Star Dancer Tracey Zudans with Robert Scott-Dancing a Foxtrot
The IRC Healthy Start Coalition’s mission is to guarantee all Indian River County women access to prenatal care and all infants’ access to services that promote normal growth and development, will go to programs and services for the Agency as well as for their community partner, Riverside Theatre who as partners in this event, produced the dance showcases and assisted in the stunning décor displayed throughout the theatre.
The selection process for the 2019 Star Dancers and Instructors will take place over the summer. Interested parties should contact Cheri at the IRC Healthy Start Coalition, 772-563-9118 to have their name placed on the prospective list.