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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

The Stars Shined Brightly

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Katie Umphenour and Kevin Allen dance to "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" to raise money for The Beacon during Dancing With Our Stars on Saturday at the Ellis Fine Arts Center.
(Laurie Sisk/Tribune)
In addition to raising thousands of dollars for 11 local charities on Saturday, the Third Annual Dancing With Our Stars benefit also paid a well-deserved tribute to those who have served their country in the military.

Though final figures are not yet in, DWOS Chairperson Belynda Davenport said about $14,000 was put into contestant's fishbowls during the two shows Saturday afternoon and Saturday night.

"I am super excited about the way the event turned out," Davenport said. "It was a remarkable success."

Sierra Herring, widow of Josph Lister, a recipient of an Honor and Remember Flag, appreciated the sentiment behind this year's theme.

"I thought the show was a real tribute to American heroes," Herring said. "Being from a family of a fallen soldier, I felt like he was truly honored. The show was amazing."

The team of Fort Scott Fire Chief Paul Ballou, Lisa Chaplin, Kari Messer, Kayla Pruitt, Kelly Keating and Bridgett Lancaster raised the most money, taking in about $2,000 for Ronald McDonald House Charities as they danced to a "Fireman's Medley" choreographed by Nicki Traul. They also were voted fan favorites for the evening show.

The Hunt for Hunger team of Blake Lundberg and Heather Fink were voted as fan favorites for the afternoon show, when they paid tribute to fallen heroes with their "If I Die Young" dance choreographed by Amy Drake.

In keeping with this year's theme, "Celebrate America," the performances included an opening presentation of colors by VFW Post 1165 and entrances by the American Legion, Christian Motorcyclists of America and the Patriot Guard Riders. Veteran Ken Lyon led the flag salute and Samantha Tucker sang the Star Spangled Banner for the afternoon show, while Aaron Weatherbie sang the anthem for the evening show.

Dance teams from Fort Scott High School and Fort Scott Community College warmed the crowd up before Kevin Smith and Misty Adams, dancing for The Sharing Bucket kicked the friendly competition off with their "R-O-C-K in the USA/Party Rock mix" choreographed by FSHS students Taylor Schilling and KJ Miller.

Lundberg and Fink followed with an emotional tribute to those who lost their lives in service to their country. Ray Streeter and Mary Jo Harper lightened the mood a bit as they romped to "Rock Around the Clock" for the Bourbon County Arts Council.

Next up was the Alzheimer's Association team of Shelley Corley and Scott Flater, who organized a team of back-up dancers to aid them in their Karley Stark choreographed dance of "Candyman."

The Fort Scott Athletic Scholarship team of Lindsay Hill and Enrique Martinez also enlisted extra help with their version of "Party in the USA," choreographed by Kristina Parsons and Bethany Fuller.

Katie Umphenour and Kevin Allen followed, with a foxtrot to "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" in support of The Beacon.

The Gordon Parks Museum was represented by Doonna Estill and Dustin Wiley, with a "Rocky" themed version of "Living in America, choreographed by Kathleen Hinrich.

Megan Felt and Phil Hammons provided what may have been the best comic relief of the day with their version of "Jack and Diane" to benefit the Lowell Milken Center. Kristin Downing served as choreographer for the pair.

The husband and wife team of Wade and Julie Pellett danced and energetic routine to "In the Mood," choreographed by Chelsea Mitzner for The Wounded Warrior Project.

The American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. team of Latisha Kelley and James Wood performed to "Hero" before The Firemen's Medley team wrapped up the competition.

The event also featured an encore performance by last year's winners, Nancy Pruitt and Larry Seals, who danced to "I Will Follow Him" from Sister Act and a special presentation of Honor and Remember Flags in honor of area fallen soldiers to their hometown mayors, including Ryan Campbell, Josph Lister, David "Butch" Hall, Michael Speer, Ricky Bennett, Justin Hueston and Ryan Jackman. MLB star Adam LaRoche also was honored for his commitment to the Fort Scott community.

Lindsay Madison, of the Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce and Paul Wright, president of the Fort Scott Rotary Club served as the emcees for the shows. Judges included Fort Scott High School principal Bob Beckham, Nevada High School theater director Angie Bin, Sally Cullor, retired drama teacher and Deb McKenney, of 103.9 KOMB-FM.

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