The Salvation Army had a rousing success with a fundraiser modeled on the “Dancing with the Stars” television show.
An initial tally shows about $34,000 from the Saturday night event, dubbed “Dancing with the Turlock Stars,” Chairwoman Kristin Bettencourt said.
The contest involved 14 pairs of dancers – one in each pair with professional experience, the other not. They competed in fundraising as well as on the dance floor.
Dance studio owner Nicole Couto and Realtor Jerry Powell won the Mirror Ball Trophy for getting the most votes from supporters in advance of the event and during it. They drew 772 votes, each with a $10 donation to The Salvation Army.
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The Judges Trophy, awarded by an expert panel and based solely on dancing, went to professional Amy Shamgochian and Joel Broumas, a police captain in Modesto. Their routine scored perfect 10s.
About 1,020 people came to the Assyrian-American Civic Club for the dinner show. The novice dancers, many of them prominent Turlock residents, had rehearsed with their partners over several weeks.
“The room was packed, and the crowd had so much energy,” Bettencourt said, adding that a second event is planned for 2015.
The organizers had hoped to raise $20,000 to $30,000 for The Salvation Army, which provides recreation, tutoring, food assistance and other services at its Lander Avenue complex.