Dancing for the Arts Gala, 7th Annual
If attendance at the 7th annual Dancing for the Arts Gala is any indicator, Harford County residents are eager to see an arts center come to their community. The Gala, held Nov. 15, 2014, drew a sellout crowd, and along with the also sold-out dress rehearsal the night before, raised a net total of $100,000 to help build the new Center for the Arts.
The event was hosted by WJZ-TV reporter Kristy Breslin and sponsored by many Harford County businesses and organizations including The Aegis; Betty Ward & Ward Properties; Balsamo, Stewart, Lutters, and Ruth, P.A.; Barbara Stratton; Boeing Company; Dancing with Friends; Harford Cable Network; Harford Chamber of Commerce; Harford County Government; Harford Style Magazine; House of Cards; I95 BUSINESS; J. Vinton Schafer and Sons; John Carroll School; JigSaw Marketing Solutions; Kelly Group; KHZ Network; Klein’s Shop Rite; Laurel Bush Family Dentistry; Parker, Pallett, Slezak, and Russell LLC; Sandra Paetow Photography; Society of Italian American Businessmen; Stack and Store Mini Storage; Utopia; and WXCY 103.7 FM.
Like the similarly-named television show, the competition transformed 12 ordinary Harford County citizens from all walks of life – including three local high school students – into ballroom dancers. Each went through weeks of training and practice, assisted by professional instructors from the Dancing with Friends Dance Studio. The night of the Gala these everyday folks became performers as they executed classic ballroom moves like the waltz, swing, cha-cha, rumba and more.
Outstanding performances were given by all, but in the end a panel of judges, consisting of community members Deborah Pro-Marshall, Tony Meoli, Tamera Rush, Judge Angela Eaves and Mark Welsh, named Flavor Cupcakery owner Shelley Stannard as their top choice, while attendees picked Brady Fritz and Olivia Lang, both students at John Carroll High School, as the People’s Choice winners.
Top Fundraiser awards went to Aberdeen High School student Maxwell Wray, Harford Bank Vice President Mary Ann Bogarty and dentist Dr. Nahid Shahry. Other dancers included architect Jim Brady, KHZ-TV personality Tracy Hart, retired U.S. Army Colonel Sharon Jacobs, private investigator Reginald Przybylski, attorney Karmen Slezak and public relations officer Jim Welch.
The phenomenal turnout for the Gala clearly indicates the community’s support for construction of the Center for the Arts, and a welcoming audience for future Dancing for the Arts Galas and other art exhibits and performances.
Visit the Center for the Arts website www.harfordcfa.org to learn more and for details about upcoming events and fundraisers. I95