Sunday, April 26, 2015
Index Journal, Gregg Hampton
HODGES —Jokes, jabs and good-natured ribbing came fast and furious at Little River Multicultural Complex on Saturday night at the inaugural Dancing with the Greenwood Stars.
After emcees Jim Medford and Bettie Rose Horne completed a fun-filled opening monologue, celebrity judges Welborn Adams, Greenwood mayor, and Richard Whiting, Index-Journal executive editor, set the tone of the night with a critique of Lander University President Dan Ball and Deanna Thomas’ dance to Elvis Presley’s “Jailhouse Rock.”
“Elvis is dead, and you proved it,” Whiting said to Ball.
“If you can’t find a partner, then use a wooden chair,” Adams said. “Dan was the wooden chair.”
Other judges include: 8th Judicial Circuit Solicitor David Stumbo; Greenwood Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Angelle LaBorde; and Realtor Renee Simchon.
The event is a fundraiser to support Beyond Abuse, a nonprofit organization focused on ending sexual violence and child abuse through awareness, advocacy and action. Beyond Abuse serves populations in Greenwood, Abbeville, Laurens and Newberry.
Cathy Miller, Beyond Abuse executive director, could not have been more pleased with the turnout.
“When we got together months ago, I was just hoping to have half this crowd, and as the excitement grew and the community really came behind us and we got the word out, this is just amazing,” she said. “This is the kind of community we have. They really came together for an event like this.”
Miller said as of Saturday morning the event had raised more than $25,000, not counting money raised at the event through online voting for event participants.
“I couldn’t be more happy,” she said.
Greenwood attorney Tripp Padgett and Heather Simmons Jones, Partnership Alliance CEO, followed Ball and Thomas with their rendition of “You’re The One That I Want,” from “Grease,” followed by a dance medley by the team from Capsugel.
Greenwood County Sheriff Tony Davis and Susan Welch, who handles data for Greenwood High School’s Power School/Parent Portal, shagged their way through “Stagger Lee,” then Joe Gilliam and Melissa Bane danced to “My Heart Will Go On.”
Other dancers who competed, in order of appearance:
YMCA Cailente Cuties! (“Lady Marmalade”); pediatrician Dr. Gratin Smith and attorney Jane H. Merrill. (“Easy Street”); Men in Blue (“It’s Raining Men”); City Planner Andrew Strickland and Kelly McWhorter of the Greenwood Regional Tourism and Visitors Bureau (“Old Time Rock n Roll”); and state Sen. Floyd Nicholson and Mamie Nicholson of Self Family Foundation (“Cheek to Cheek”).
The team from Fujifilm brought down the house as the last act, recreating Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” with appropriate costumes and makeup, spurning a massive dance-off by all participants and audience members.
Team Fujifilm received 99 of 100 votes from the judges.
Producers Award — Gilliam and Bane.
People’s Choice Award — 1. Team Capsugel; 1st runner-up: State Sen. Floyd and Mamie Nicholson; 2nd runner-up: Fujifilm.
Group — 1. Men in Blue
Couple — 1. Padgett and Simmons Jones.