By Tess Wisher
Special to The PREVIEW
There are only a few days left until Seeds of Learning hosts Dancing with the Pagosa Stars on Saturday, July 20.
This event has paired eight local “Stars” with professional dancers from around the area. These couples have worked countless hours perfecting dances they will showcase at the event. Our stars — Annita Bens, Jason Cox, Chris Hopkins, Mike Le Roux, Laura Moore, Steve Potter, Nicki Smith and Evelyn Tennyson — have sold seats to the event, taped emotional videos, purchased their own costumes and encouraged friends and family to vote online.
Their coaches — Ashley Butcher, Sharina Ramsay-Adams, Casey Crow, Sariah Ellsmore, Nolan King, John Gillam, Jacob Miskimen and Asher Van Meter — have offered their amazing talents to instruct and fine-tune our stars for their big night.
The star raising the most money through ticket sales and voting will be crowned the Mirror Ball Trophy Winner. While other awards that night will include Best Male Dancer, Best Female Dancer, Best Costume and Best Video, it has been clear these incredible people are dancing for more than a trophy.
In addition, a slew of volunteers have worked behind the scenes to ensure an entertaining evening. Professionals like Ali Whitman, Leslie Carlson, Kylie Ross, Waldemar Winkler, Jeff Heintzleman and Lisa Saunders are lending their expertise to make this a show to remember. Committee members Lisa Peters, Melody Dean, Dee McPeek, Brenda Ray, Nancy Ray, Kim Hopkins, Terry McGaughy, Connie Knief, Toosje Lamoreaux, Terrie Frahm, Tess Wisher and Lynne Bridges have been burning the midnight oil to make sure there is food, wine and a lovely room to dance in. There are over 75 generous volunteers who will greet guests, serve food and wine, help with lighting and props, and collect and tally votes.
To say this event has taken on a life of its own is a gross understatement. The reality is, the money raised from this “fun”draiser will be used to help support families whose income does not allow them to pay full tuition for their children to attend Seeds. Many of these children are considered at-risk and benefit greatly for the rest of their lives from early education. The staff, families and, most of all, the children at Seeds of Learning are extremely grateful to the many men and women of Pagosa and our surrounding communities for their support.
In the creative community, the term “break a leg” is used as encouragement and best wishes for success. To our amazing stars and their talented coaches, we pass along that sentiment, but, even more, we pass along a heartfelt thank you. If you are interested in supporting this amazing event by voting for these fabulous stars, visit growingseeds.org and vote today.
By Tess Wisher