Dancing With the Sandhills Stars
Keeping the Title in the Family
Dancing with the Sandhills Stars
Dancing with the Sandhills Stars is an annual charity event that helps raise money for Communities in Schools and the Moore Buddies.
Peggy Miller made sure to keep it all in the family. Miller, along with her partner, Tony Paz, won Sunday night’s Dancing With the Sandhills Stars competition at the Carolina Hotel in Pinehurst. Miller’s brother-in-law, Pat McGowan, and his partner, Cathy Smith, took top honors last year.
“Thanks to all my family and friends for their support,” she said afterward.
Tony Paz, director at Belle Meade, St. Joseph of the Pines, commented on the support given by the residents of Belle Meade.
“They came up with about $5,000,” he said. “I thank them for their support.”
The two danced the Charleston.
The event, co-chaired by Holly Floyd and Cathy Smith, raised more than $120,000 for Moore Buddies and Communities in Schools, both mentoring programs here in Moore County.
A sell-out crowd filled the Grand Ballroom from one end to the other, and excitement ran high in the Green Room (the Cardinal Ballroom) as the contestants awaited their turn onstage.
Emcees for the evening were Rich Rushforth from STAR 102.5, who was a competitor in the first year of the contest, and Beatriz Gill, the current Mrs. North Carolina, who is the current board chair for Keep Moore County Beautiful.
Serving as judges were Deb Wimberly, who was formerly with the United Way; David Woronoff, publisher of The Pilot; and Bill Smith, owner of Bill Smith Ford-Lincoln and Bill Smith Mazda.
Boys and Girls Clubs director Caroline Eddy, who admitted in the Green Room that she wasn’t feeling too well, joined her husband, Ben, for a dance to “Soul Man.” Dressed in Blues Brothers-style, the Eddys were well-received by the audience.
Chris Dunn, executive director of the Arts Council, brought his trumpet onstage for the opening notes of “All That Jazz,” the tune to which he and partner Karen Wicker danced. Wicker retired last year from the Moore County Extension Office.
Heidi and Paul Dent brought the tone into the 1970s as they danced to a medley of ABBA hits. The Dents are owners of Hirease, a business located in Southern Pines.
Patrick Mincey, an attorney, and Beth St. John, a local real estate agent, danced to a Chuck Berry tune popularized in the film “Pulp Fiction,” titled “You Never Can Tell.”
Dr. Darrell Simpkins, an emergency room physician, and Meredith Clifton, a retired teacher, brought a little Cajun to the proceedings by dancing to “Alligator Walk.”
Carol Dowd, owner of Botanicals in Southern Pines, and her husband, Rahmean Kamalbake, jazzed things up to Michael Buble’s version of “Crazy Little Thing.”
Pete Gulley, who, along with his family, owns Gulley’s Garden Center, and Doris Smith, glided around the stage with ease to an old Taj Mahal number.
“My Girl” was the song of choice for Koley and Michele Keel. Koley owns the Village Deli and Michele is an optometrist at Doctors Vision Center.
Kathie Parson, a manager of Fidelity Bank, and Justin Bode, who is a local doctor of chiropractic, heated up the stage to Shakira’s “Hips Don’t Lie.”
Probably the most unusual performance of the evening was that of John and Julie Tampa, whose dance consisted of yoga set to a slow version of “Dueling Banjos.” John Tampa is the rector of Emmanuel Episcopal Church, and Julie works at Penick Village.
“Cuban Pete,” a tune with a Latin vibe, was chosen by Robyn James, owner of the Wine Cellar and Tasting Room, and Phil Benton, a local dentist.
Donna Andrews, a former LPGA tour pro who now teaches at Pine Needles, and Chris Metzger, the Pinecrest High School football coach, chose a song titled “Hitting on the Back of the Range,” which was recorded by Peter Jacobson.
Alicia Hill, head volleyball coach, and John Krahnert III, sports editor at The Pilot, went back to the 1960s in bell bottoms and go-go boots to dance to “Land of 1,000 Dances.”
And last, but definitely not least were Danielle Hinesley, director of national accounts for Pinehurst Resort, and Dan Askins, a local State Farm insurance agent (complete with white afro), who danced to “Knock on Wood.”
Special entertainment was provided by the 82nd Airborne Division All-American Chorus, which was a big hit with the audience, as well as Joe Hasson and Missy Keller of Fred Astaire Studio, and Beatriz Gill.
Cynthia Bradley, executive director of Communities in Schools, and Amy Blondlin, executive director of Moore Buddies, offered thanks to Bruce and Debby Hasson and their team at Fred Astaire Dance Studio as well as Susan Bristow, the program director, and of course, the dancers.
Contact Faye Dasen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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