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Pair dancing for The Sharing Bucket

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Kevin Smith and Misty Adams will be dancing to benefit The Sharing Bucket at "Dancing With Our Stars" on Feb. 2 at the Ellis Fine Arts Center.
(Kenny Felt/Special to the Tribune)
After being diagnosed on July 7, 2011, with triple-negative breast cancer -- an extremely aggressive form of the disease -- Misty Adams was told she had five years to live. On Feb. 2 at the Danny and Willa Ellis Family Fine Arts Center at Fort Scott Community College, Adams will dance cancer-free as a contestant in "Dancing With Our Stars" with her partner, Kevin Smith.

The duo will be dancing to support The Sharing Bucket, an organization that provided financial, emotional and spiritual support for Adams through her chemo treatments in Tulsa, Okla. Adams celebrated the one-year anniversary of her last treatment on Tuesday.

The mother of two small children and step-mother to two teenagers, Adams faced cancer head-on and won, but readily admits she is frightened at the idea getting on stage and dancing in front of a large audience.

"I really can't dance," Adams laughed. "I'm terrified."

But Smith, who coached Adam's children in youth soccer, isn't one bit worried about Adam's ability to tackle the steps.

"She's the quintessential fighter," Smith said.

Smith said he wanted to dance for The Sharing Bucket because it is a wonderful cause.

"My father battled throat cancer and won within the last two or three years," Smith said. "Having come through that experience and knowing know the benefits of The Sharing Bucket, I wanted to represent them."

Smith said he likes the fact that money raised by The Sharing Bucket stays here to help area families.

"With the Sharing Bucket, it's a little more fulfilling because it's more direct," Smith said. "You get to see the results."

"It's friends helping friends," added Sharing Bucket co-founder Lavetta Simmons.

Smith said he will have relatives coming from as far away western Kansas and Adams said she has 58 tickets for her family -- many from Oklahoma -- and her church family at Fort Scott Church of the Nazarene.

Smith said the purpose of the show is really driven home toward intermission and the end of the show.

"People compete, but it's not a competition," Smith said. "It's the goal."

Adams said DWOS organizer Belynda Davenport asked her to participate in the fundraiser while out watching their kids play soccer last fall. She said The Sharing Bucket has done a lot for her and her family, including helping with her travel and expenses to and from treatment in Tulsa.

She also said her "Sharing Angels" would prepare meals for her two young children and play with them.

"I felt like, even though I can't dance, that I had to give back," Adams said. "So I thought, what a better way to give back than to go dance and raise money. I don't think the public realizes just what that organization (Sharing Bucket) does. You hear about it and you see the little buckets around town, but not only do they provide financially for people in our area, they also provide emotional support and lifelong friendships. It's a great organization."

Adams and Smith's routine is a mixture of jive and cha-cha centered around breast cancer awareness and is choreographed by Fort Scott High School sophomores Taylor Schilling and K.J. Miller.

Adams said they began working with Schilling and Miller around late November and the two have donated significant hours of their time to help them learn the steps.

"Both of them are honor students who take AP classes, are very involved in their school, involved in their community and involved in their church," Adams said. "They, too have an outside life, but still continue to find a lot of time to help us."

Adam said her coaching duo even made a video detailing each step of the routine and included outtakes for a little levity.

"You can tell they spent a tremendous amount of hours on the video," Adams said. "They are amazing; I'm still trying to figure out how I'm going to be able to thank them enough."

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