WASHINGTON, D.C.- DC’s Dancing Stars Gala is back for another year giving local celebrities a chance to compete for a $10,000 grand prize that will go to a charity of their choice.
WUSA9’s Morning Reporter Mikea Turner is competing! The fundraising event is modeled after ABC’s hit TV show Dancing with the Stars. Each contender is paired up with a professional partner and learns a solid dance routine for the competition that will take place on November 5, 2016 at the Sheraton Tysons Hotel in Virginia.
Mikea and her professional dance partner, Javier Buentello of Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Fairfax, VA, performed on Great Day Washington Thursday morning.
Maria Coakley David and Jim David co-chair the gala. Over the last two years, $350,000 has been raised through the contestants and donated to local charities.
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Our Military Kids Inc., St. Jude’s and others have benefited from fundraising efforts. Each contestant is required to secure auction items, online votes via donations and sponsorships. The grand prize winner, which is based on amount of donations and a great dance performance, gets $10,000 to donate to a charity of their own. The winner also receives a mirror ball trophy.
WUSA9 Reporter Larry Miller won the dance portion of the competition last year.
Turner hopes to secure the win so she can donate the prize money to the ALS Association DC/MD/VA Chapter in honor of her best friend whose mother was diagnosed with ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord, last summer. There is no cure.
“It’s unbelievable how in a matter of months, we swapped family roles; I’ve become mom to my mother,” said Turner’s 26-year-old friend who does not want to be publicly identified.
“I do everything in my power to keep her smiling, happy and spiritually uplifted. It gets hard sometimes.”
In just over one year, her 59-year-old mother lost the ability to walk without help, dress and feed herself. In weeks, her speech has become learned. Turner has seen their lives change dramatically and wants to help make a difference in the lives of people just like her friend’s mother who are struggling with this disease.
Donations will help fund research for scientists to find treatments and cures.
“This is a rare and amazing opportunity for me to help make a difference, but I can’t do this without the community’s help, “Turner said.
Turner’s commitment to dancing for the cause requires her to secure auction items, online votes via donations on DC’s Dancing Stars Gala website and sponsorships. Her pool of donations has a lot of room to grow.
If you’re interested in contributing, you can vote for Turner under ‘ Celebrity Dancers’ on the gala’s website here. The proceeds go to charities. Guest judges include ‘Bachelor’ Alum Chris Bukowski and others.
For more information on the celebrity lineup, tickets and details on the preview party, you can also find it on the DC Dancing Stars Gala website.
Want more stories like this? Watch Great Day Washington at 9 on WUSA9 and follow us on Twitter @greatdaywash