‘Dancing for Our Stars’ fundraiser a success

Posted: Monday, February 29, 2016 6:24 pm

From Staff Reports

Initial reports about Navarro College’s recent Dancing for Our Stars fundraising event were very positive from the community/business support to the attendees to the dancers’ performances. Now, two weeks later, attendees are still commending the college for the excellent event it held on Valentine’s weekend in the Cook Education Center and final numbers tell an even better story.

Navarro College Vice President of Advancement and Operations, Dr. Bruce Tabor, stated at last week’s Navarro College Board of Trustees meeting that “Navarro College’s three goals for the event were to raise money for students, have a fun event that attendees would enjoy, and to get the community involved in ways that hadn’t been done in the past.” The fundraising efforts far exceed the expectations of the college and foundation. Dr. Tabor reported that “the event raised $72,820 in gross revenue, and the college is pleased to report that the net revenue is $50,200.” All funds raised from the event will give Navarro College students the financial assistance needed to pursue their dreams. Dr. Barbara Kavalier, Navarro College District President, stated “This has been one of the most successful fundraising events in the history of the college. We couldn’t be more pleased with the support received from everyone involved.”

Support for the college was so great that, following the announcement of the event in December, the sponsorships and tickets sold out within seven weeks. “One of the top priorities for a successful event was to connect the college to the community,” Kavalier states. “I am pleased to announce that not only did we have 334 attendees at the event, we had over 175 in attendance who had never attended a Navarro College fundraising event before and a large at-home audience.” For those who were unable to attend the event, the college live streamed the event for the first time ever, giving supporters the opportunity to watch the entire performance online and to contribute financially through online voting during the evening. The college reported that there were 191 unique hits to the live streaming website that resulted in $1,220 in online votes. The online viewers spanned the globe. The furthest viewing location was Japan where a former student showed his support. Many community members held “watch parties” with their friends to support the college and dancers, including Kyle Hobratschk, Founder of 100W in Corsicana, and Leslie Leerskov, Director of the Navarro Small Business Development Center.

“As a Navarro College Foundation board member and treasurer, I am thrilled that we surpassed our goals,” said Debbie Wilson, Treasurer of the Navarro College Foundation. “The foundation wanted this fundraiser to be fun and unite Navarro College even more with our community. Making an exceptional profit was just icing on the cake. Approximately 60 percent of the guests in attendance had never been to one of our fundraisers before. We are extremely happy.”

The dance competition featured seven couples from the Corsicana area including H.M. and Carole Davenport, Michael and Trisha Stewart, Gary Douglas and Dr. Frank Means (“The Greater Tuna”), Cliff Patterson and Betina Hawkins, Jimmy and Dustie Hale, Dr. Matt and Cathy Branch, and Brad Cook and Joanna Fritz. The couples have expressed how pleased they were with the way the event was planned and executed. Dustie Hale commented “I was glad that the college had so many of their students involved in the production of the event. It gave me an opportunity to interact with the students we were raising money for.” The dancers each solicited votes, since 50 percent of the final score was audience votes while the other 50 percent were the judges scores. There were 5,675 votes cast before and during the event totaling more than $28,000 raised from votes alone. “We really appreciate everyone involved in making this event a success. The dancers were instrumental in the money that was raised for the students,” said Dr. Tabor. “We had people from out-of-state and across the state in attendance and this wouldn’t have been the case without the support from the community.”

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Photos of the event are available for purchase at the following link: NavarroCollege.Instaproofs.com/DFOS2016. Attendees and home viewers are encouraged to call early next year to become a sponsor and purchase tickets.

H.M. and Carole Davenport began the competition with a beautiful waltz.

H.M. and Carole Davenport began the competition with a beautiful waltz.

Michael and Trisha Stewart danced the Cha-Cha to the Jackson Five's "I Want You Back".

Michael and Trisha Stewart danced the Cha-Cha to the Jackson Five’s “I Want You Back”.

Gary Douglas and Dr. Frank Means made their appearance as Bertha Bumiller and Arles Struvie, respectively, of Greater Tuna dancing the "Tuna Tango".

Gary Douglas and Dr. Frank Means made their appearance as Bertha Bumiller and Arles Struvie, respectively, of Greater Tuna dancing the “Tuna Tango”.

Cliff Patterson and Betina Hawkins danced a beautiful progressive two-step.

Cliff Patterson and Betina Hawkins danced a beautiful progressive two-step.

Jimmy and Dustie Hale performed their rendition of the Cha-Cha.

Jimmy and Dustie Hale performed their rendition of the Cha-Cha.

Dr. Matt and Cathy Branch were announced as the 2016 Winners of the Dancing for Our Stars competition.

Dr. Matt and Cathy Branch were announced as the 2016 Winners of the Dancing for Our Stars competition.

Brad Cook and Joanna Fritz performed a Rumba.

Brad Cook and Joanna Fritz performed a Rumba.

Brad Cook and Joanna Fritz performed a Rumba

Brad Cook and Joanna Fritz performed a Rumba

SOURCE: Corsicana Daily Sun