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Stanly’s Dancing With The Stars raises about $90K for Butterfly House

Some waltzed in wearing Victorian costumes.

Others made it rain with money machines.

Some touched hearts with a backdrop of pictures.

Others wowed the crowd with acrobatic feats.

“I think this is the biggest variety of dances we’ve ever had here before,” said Wes Tucker, emcee for the 2018 Stanly County Dancing with the Stars last Saturday.

Now eight years into the show, that’s no easy feat either, organizers noted.

Throughout the night, dancers shared stories of their creative endevours to bring something unique to the stage.

For example, while running through their highly acrobatic routine, Jeremy Forsythe and Joel Laster might have dropped third team member Cindy Thompson a few times.

“But don’t worry, I got to punch them back for it,” Thompson said with a smile Saturday evening.
Financial professionals Colleen Conroy and Kelly Lowder actually puzzled through their dance with the help of some office software.

“We used spreadsheets to figure it out,” Lowder said. “No joke.”

Even fundraising was a unique affair. From house parties, to karoke, to 1,600 pink flamingos, the campaigns were nearly as diverse as the dances.

“It’s definitely one of the widest arrays I’ve seen,” said Pam Blake, who has danced and hosted for the show several times.

And it seems all the creative effort paid off.

Once again filling the Stanly County Agri-Civic Center, the show raised about $90,000 for the Butterfly House, a child advocacy center in Albemarle.

“You can’t imagine the effect that has on these children’s lives,” said event speaker McKinley Almond.

Almond, an Albemarle High School graduate now at UNC Wilmington, went through the Butterfly House, she noted.

When she was about 7, her stepgrandfather began molesting her, using movie nights to touch her inappropriately.

“Eventually I stopped wanting to go to my grandma’s and I’d cry so that I wouldn’t have to,” Almond said. “But one day, for some reason, I felt the urge to tell someone… I went up to (my mom) and said, ‘Do you know why I don’t want to go to Mawmaws?’… She immediately stopped what she was doing and hugged me.”

Already upset by her experience, going to the police department could have been traumatizing for Almond. But instead, she was taken to the Butterfly House.

“It felt like I was in a secret place no one knew about, it made me feel like I could be honest without judgement,” Almond said. “I felt comfortable and loved … and they were there for my parents, too.”

Stories like those are what keep Dancing with the Stars truly alive, both dancers and attendees agreed.

“We need to support this great cause not just tonight, but all the time,” said dancer Faith McSwain after she and DJ Zeleski finished performing.

First time attendees Justin Poplin of Albemarle and Chris Roseman of Concord may not have been on the stage, but they felt the same.

“This is my first time coming, but I’ve been amazed,” said Poplin. “Everyone needs to see this … not just for the dances, but for the cause.”

After all, just like different dances make an event come alive, a variety of people and ideas make an organization come alive, Butterfly House staff said.

“None of this would be possible without you,” director Amy Yow said. “You make this happen.”

Contact Shannon Beamon at 704-982-0816 or shannon.beamon@stanlynewspress.com.