Steamboat hosts own ‘Dancing with the Stars’ for charity
November 24, 2011
Fundraiser ogranizers are seeking sponsorships and donations. For more information, visit the Northwest Rocky Mountain Court-Appointed Special Advocates website at http://www.nwrmcasa.org
Steamboat Springs — Some of the who's who of Steamboat Springs plans to cut a rug during a January fundraiser for a local child advocacy group.
The Steamboat version of the popular TV show "Dancing with the Stars" will be Jan. 21 and feature eight local choreographers paired with local personalities in a dance competition and fundraising event.
The dancers include recently elected Steamboat Springs City Council member Kevin Kaminski, who will be shopping for platform shoes, gold chains and an afro wig to prepare for his disco routine with choreographer Julie Tucek.
"You better get those fingers working," Tucek said to Kaminski while demonstrating a classic disco dance move Wednesday when the stars were paired up with the choreographers.
Mike Lomas, general manager of The Steamboat Grand, was paired with Kim Bates, who promised an old school hip-hop routine.
"Lomas is hip like hip has never seen," Lomas joked about himself.
One choreographer lured his star, Tami Havener, with the promise of fun and a solid understanding of a 4-4 count.
"I'm Michael David, and I will be competing for last place," David said.
The pairs are donating their time, expertise and reputation for what they think is a worthy cause.
The goal is to raise $12,000 to $15,000 for Northwest Rocky Mountain Court-Appointed Special Advocates, a children's advocacy group that helps those who have been abused or neglected. A year ago, the program expanded from Grand and Moffat counties into Routt. The three counties encompass the 14th Judicial District, and the nationwide program was started locally at the request of Chief Judge Michael O'Hara.
Routt's first five program volunteers underwent 32 hours of training and were sworn in by O'Hara in June.
"He refers to them as our community's angels," said Valerie McCarthy, program manager for Northwest Rocky Mountain CASA.
Phyllis Harrelson works for Horizons Specialized Services and was one of the first five volunteers.
"I just thought it's a great service to provide to kids in our community that are in crisis," Harrelson said.
The volunteers work with one family at a time, develop a relationship with the child involved in the abuse or neglect and are their voice in court.
"Children don't go to court, and we want the judge to know what the kids want," McCarthy said. "The idea is that every child deserves a safe, permanent home."
This year, the organization has worked with 27 children in the three counties. Five of those cases were in Routt County.
McCarthy, who has extensive experience working with children locally, was hired a year ago to lead the local CASA chapter.
She said the organization works with an annual budget of about $115,000, which allows for the program manager position as well as two part-time staff members.
Staff members provide the training and help supervise the volunteers with their cases.
Most of CASA's money comes from donations and grants, which are not guaranteed, McCarthy said.
Pam Vanatta/Chad Bedell
Kevin Kaminski/Julie Tucek
Tami Havener/Michael David
Mike Lomas/Kim Bates
Trish Sullivan/Roddy Beall
Kevin Taulman/Tamara Bereznak
Lisa Brown/Matt & Holly Blanchard
Brent Tollar/Penny Hamilton
To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com
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