Sandhills Luminaries Take to Dance Floor for Fundraiser
BY LESLEY BRADLEY
Special to The Pilot
More than 40 of Moore County's beloved community leaders will put on their dancing shoes Saturday, Jan. 9, to benefit Communities In Schools of Moore County and Moore Buddies.
Dancing with the Sandhills Stars, a benefit patterned after the popular TV show, will take place at the Pine Needles Hospitality Center.
Each competing couple will gather votes leading up to the event with all proceeds benefiting the two local nonprofit mentoring programs.
Local radio personalities Kristen Palmer and Rich Rushforth make up one of the many teams ready to "get down" for the kids. As hosts of the morning show on Star 102.5, both dancers have the vibrant personality it takes to win votes.
Like a piece of multi-textured music, "Radiolina Kristen" weaves her media magic as both morning show host at Star 102.5 and television host for Channel 3.
Always active in the community, she is an advisory board member of Communities In Schools, works with the homeless and works with many charity organizations throughout Moore County and the Sandhills, including the Communities In Schools COMPASS mentoring project.
Communities In Schools (CIS) developed the COMPASS Project to provide one-on-one mentoring for students at Southern Middle School.
Similarly, Moore Buddies uses mentoring as an intervention tool for youth who are at risk of not reaching their full potential for various reasons. Both organizations share the common goal of helping a child succeed through a relationship with a caring adult.
Palmer's eyes shine when she talks about Brandon, her last mentee through the COMPASS Project.
"Brandon taught me that you continue to try, even in the face of adversity, with diligence and hard work," she says.
With Brandon as her motivation, Palmer plans to dance her way to the top spot in the competition.
Joining Palmer will be her morning show co-host on Star 102.5, "Dance-Zilla Rich." He is known for his smooth and >commanding voice, and he says he >will challenge his competitors by showing them he has entertainment ability and smooth moves as well. >
Rushforth enjoys being a good companion to his dog, Leelou, and has been a member of the Moore County Humane Society since 1999.
As a contestant on Dancing with the Sandhill Stars he has a tough game plan >and says his secret weapon is having the mind-blowing beauty "Radiolina Kristen" as his dance partner, so no one will even notice his trip-ups and missteps.
"He is a man who proudly faces challenges by staring them squarely in the eye, having a fearless yet >steely determination combined with a stiff jaw," says a spokesman. "This dancing duo wants to put the adage 'actions speak louder than words' to the test as they show that they have moves to go with their gift of gab."
"But we also want community members to put their money where their mouth is in support of a great cause," says Rushforth.
They want votes, yes, but a vote for them is a donation for the kids - it will enable the good work of Communities In Schools and Moore Buddies to continue.
The list of more than 40 dancers also includes District Attorney Maureen Krueger, Chief John Letteney, Dr. Susan Purser, Senator Harris Blake, Colonel Bob Adams, Sherry Wood, Father John and Julie Tampa, Linda Person, Southern Pines Mayor Mike Haney, Patrick Coughlin, Patty Zoellner, Baxter and Taylor Clement, Eve Avery, Jim Byrd, Diana Turner-Forte, Stephen Later; Jeff and Severine Hutchins, Jack Nance, Roxanne Loepper, Susie Leader, Nelson Neil, Ellen Pearsall, Charlie Jackson, George and Wanda Little, Janeen Driscoll, Paul Harkness, Dr. Jeff Kilpatrick, Juliet Eden Blanks, Larry and Cathy Hinton, Patrick McGowan, Cathy Smith, Ray Metzger and Karen Beckall.
"To see profiles, photos and videos of all the dancers, and to cast a vote for your favorite dancing couple, visit www.sandhillsstars.com or call (910) 295-1072," says a spokesman.
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