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Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois Holds Successful Dancing With Our Stars Fundraiser


Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois held a successful 9th Annual Dancing with Our Stars (DWOS) fundraiser at the Mt. Vernon Hotel and Event Center on Saturday, Aug. 05, 2017.

Photos  Video


Mt. Vernon High School Drama Club
, sponsored by SSM Good Samaritan Hospital, took home the Mirror Ball Trophy for first place and The Desi Boyz with Dr. Srinet & Dr. Sirikonda won the Judges Choice award.

Also participating were the dance teams of:  Centre Stage Sparklers sponsored by Centre Stage Studio;  Lesa Woods sponsored by Olympic Freightlines, Inc.; Classique Roc and Drama Mamas both sponsored by SSM Health Good Samaritan Hospital;  Hot Mess sponsored by Ed Lewis Trucking; and last year’s trophy winners The Hocketts sponsored by Higgins Custom and Collision.

“What an exciting night,” notes Sarah Durbin, GSSI Chief Executive Officer. “We are so thankful to everyone who participated in and supported this year’s DWOS fundraiser. Everyone, from our DWOS committee, to our dancers as well as the close knit Mt. Vernon community, helped make this fundraiser an absolute positive community experience.” According to Durbin, funds raised during DWOS will support and provide financial assistance to underserved girls, maintain and improve GSSI camps, and actively develop Girl Scout leadership programs for 12,400 girls while engaging 5,000 adult volunteers in more than 40 counties in Southern Illinois.

Co-hosts for the event were are Brandon Bullard the new Director of Business Development with Community First Bank and Rachel Hunsell who works with Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) and also actively volunteers around the community.  Choreography services are provided by Shannon Owens of Centre Stage Studios.  Celebrity judges included Finny Mathew of Crossroads Community Hospital; Mary Beth Mezo with Smokin’ T’s Competition BBQ as well as community members Jay Tate and Gary Hamerski.

Teams competed to win DWOS’ Mirror Ball Trophy by earning the top spot in a two part scoring system. The judges’ scores provided the first element to the dancers’ scores. The second element added a dash of audience participation and even more excitement, as dancers accrued points with donations from their supporters and attendees at the event.

Other DWOS sponsors included:

Dance Floor Sponsor: Dr. Jeff Larson, Urologist
Trophy Sponsor: Journey Weight Loss
Vote Tabulation Sponsor: Community First Bank of the Heartland
Cocktail Hour Sponsor: Diane Siemer
Live Auction Sponsor: First Mid-Illinois Bank & Trust
Table Sponsors: Litton Ambulance Service, SSM Health Medical Group, L Woods & Company, and Peoples National Bank; Mini Table Sponsors: SSM Health PT, OT, Speech Therapy, Legence Bank, and Dr. Prateek Srinet;  Special Giving Sponsors: Rend Lake College, Provision Eyecare, Orthopaedic Center of Southern Illinois, Tony Wielt, State Farm Insurance, Advanced Urologic Surgeons, The Korte Company, Angie Zahn, Strano and Associates.

Other DWOS Supporters include: United Way of South Central Illinois, Mount Vernon Hotel and Event Center, Midwest Sound and Light Shows, and Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce.