From Harford Center for the Arts:
Two sold-out crowds filled the ballroom at the Maryland Golf and Country Club on November 14th and 15th, 2014 to watch the 7th annual Dancing for the Arts Gala and its dress rehearsal. Both events were fundraisers held to benefit the Harford County Center for the Arts. The record-breaking turnout from the community resulted in a net total of $100,000 raised to support operations and oversee ongoing fundraising for construction of the Arts Center.
WJZ-TV reporter Kristy Breslin served as emcee for the event, and introduced 12 ordinary Harford County citizens, including three high school students, to a packed room that watched in suspense as they revealed the moves they had been practicing for weeks with assistance from dance coaches Tom Rzepnicki and Natasha Pollack of the Dancing with Friends Dance Studio.
A panel of judges including Deborah Pro-Marshall, Tony Meoli, Tamera Rush, Judge Angela Eaves, and Mark Welsh rated each dancer on their execution of ballroom classics such as the rumba, cha-cha, samba, waltz, swing and others, as well as for their showmanship and costumes. Attendees also had the opportunity to vote for their favorites, and could sponsor the dancers for donations, too, as each participant had a fundraising goal.
Outstanding performances were given by all, but in the end the 2014 Dancing for the Arts awards went to:
· Judges’ Choice—Shelley Stannard (Owner of Flavor Cupcakery)
· People’s Choice—Brady Fritz and Olivia Lang (both John Carroll High School students)
· Top Fundraisers—
– 1st Place: Maxwell Wray (Aberdeen High School student)
– 2nd Place: Mary Ann Bogarty (Harford Bank VP)
– 3rd Place: Dr. Nahid Shahry (Churchville Family Dentistry)
Other dancers included architect Jim Brady; KHZ-TV personality Tracy Hart; retired U.S. Army Colonel Sharon Jacobs; Absolute Investigative Services President Reginald Przybylski; attorney Karmen Slezak; and public relations officer Jim Welch.
Center for the Arts CEO Kathy Smith said, “The phenomenal success of this year’s Gala, from the enthusiasm of our dancers to the delight of the hundreds of guests who attended both the dress rehearsal and the Gala clearly indicates that Harford County is ready to welcome a home for the arts into the community. We look forward to making that dream a reality in the coming years, and to bringing many more wonderful visual and performing arts experiences to our county.”
Smith adds the event would not have been possible without the generous support of sponsors 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; I-95 Business Magazine; J. Vinton Schafer and Sons; John Carroll School; JigSaw Marketing Solutions; Kelly Group; KHZ Network; 970 WAMD; 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.
Aberdeen High School student-turned-ballroom dancer Maxwell Wray earned first place among the Top Fundraiser awards (Maxwell is flanked by his mother, event Chair Dr. Mary Teddy Wray on left, and event Co-Chair, Carolyn W. Evans, Esq.)
Attendees of the Dancing for the Arts Gala picked Olivia Lang (left) and Brady Fritz (center), both students at John Carroll High School, as the People’s Choice winners. They are shown with Dr. Mary Teddy Wray, the event Chair and Center for the Arts Board VP.
Flavor Cupcakery owner Shelley Stannard (left) was named the Judges’ Choice in the 2014 Dancing for the Arts competition fundraiser. She is pictured with the 2013 Judges’ Choice award winner, Mary Anne Medeiros.
Photo Credit: Leo Heppner