DWTS sets fundraising records


After a three-year hiatus, Franciscan Health Crawfordsville and the Montgomery County Youth Service Bureau put on a dazzling show for record crowds at Wabash College Fieldhouse. Montgomery County Dancing With The Stars was a sold-out event featuring nine dancing duos competing for various titles and awards. More than 800 dinner guests and dancers cheered, clapped and swayed to the outstanding performances.

The night opened with a special number, “Let’s Get Loud!” performed by DTWS alumni. The Latin-flavored music prepared attendees for a rocking evening. Glenda Frees choreographed the song as dancers heated up the stage. The alum dancers included Carla Earl, Alex Erhlich, Jeff Erhlich, Steve Frees, Heidi Gambrel, Dianne Magstadt and Leslie Warren.

Crawfordsville Dance Academy performed as dinner was served, and the DWTS dancers moved backstage to warm up for their rival renditions of selected songs.

Following dinner, the night’s judges were introduced. The judges’ panel comprised the Honorable Heather Barajas, the Honorable Daniel Petrie, and longtime YSB supporter Scott Voliva. An additional two spots at the judges’ table were auctioned off to the audience, completing the set of five deliberators.

Executive chef of Bon Appetit Jason Anderson and his dance partner cosmetologist Ashley Clute started the competition with an upbeat shuffle to “Cuban Pete.” Clute’s fringed pants showed the crowd a spectacular shimmy. Anderson proved he could keep it hot with his own dance moves.

YSB staff member Cameron Cole and dance partner Kashawndra Cooper told us how to spend our shopping budget with a routine to Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop.” The couple did not disappoint with their long fur coats and in-sync choreography.

The audience enjoyed “Cake by the Ocean” with the blue sequined duo of Hoosier Heartland State Bank president Brad Monts and alumni dance partner Katie Wallace. The two twirled around the floor like pros as the attendees showered them with generous support.

A lyrical dance full of artistic movements impacted guests while telling a meaningful story. Dancers Mikinna King and Georgia Taylor choreographed their dance to the song “Cradles,” letting guests into their world of make-believe.

Everyone in the room caught a Saturday night fever when Wabash College professor Dan Rogers and dance instructor Anna Templeton grooved to “Disco Inferno.” The audience sang along to the “Burn, baby, burn” chorus, and a flash mob joined the stage. A brief intermission followed the sizzling act to let the flames cool down.

Chef Hannah Thompson and Preston Dildine set the night’s second half in motion with a performance from The Goofy Movie’s “ I 2 I” (Eye to Eye) song, reminding us to listen to each other’s hearts. Long, lean Thompson, dressed in a yellow jumpsuit, skidded around the floor. Dildine showed off his years of dance experience as the couple made us smile wide.

The “Shake It Off” team, made up of Montgomery County’s Deputy Prosecutor Jacob Moore and North Montgomery High School social worker Kaylynn Ranspach gave a dynamic performance. Moore said he “loves seeing the community he grew up in supporting the Youth Service Bureau.” Ranspach also commented that as a social worker, she sees it all, and the YSB makes a huge impact here in our county.

Acuity Brands Lighting’s Nick Sommer and Pleasant Hill elementary teacher Ashley Kight asked, “Do You Love Me?” while giving off vibes from the well-loved movie Dirty Dancing. The original movie’s Patrick Swayze himself would have been impressed by the energetic and uplifting interpretation featuring dance moves like the mashed potato and the twist.

The last team to hit the stage was Farm Bureau insurance agent Austin Earl and Title Resource Group’s Stephanie Deaton. Deaton’s 25-year choreography experience helped showcase talented moves by Earl. The partners gave a terrific performance to “It’s Lonely at the Top.”

While the judges tallied the scores, four unique experiences were auctioned. The experiences included a barbeque party by Chef Jason Anderson, a smoked meat cooking lesson with Francis & Mount’s Isaac Weliver, upscale white table service for eight by Hannah Thompson, Maxines on Green, and a boating adventure with Aaron Morgan and Stacy Sommer.

Duo dance teams set incredible records for philanthropic support. The top three contributors were duos Brad Monts and Katie Wallace at $23,121; Austin Earl and Stephanie Deaton with

$29, 530; and Nick Sommer and Ashley Kight added an astonishing $31,218.

High-quality gift baskets and specialty items added to the night’s fundraising. Dinner show and rehearsal night tickets were sold to add to the total. Overall, the entire night cleared over $80,000. Every dollar raised stays in Montgomery County to support the numerous programs by the Youth Service Bureau.

People’s Choice awards were given to runners-up Moore and Raspach and champions Sommer and Kight.

Judge’s awards were announced as follows:

Most Creative: Cameron Cole and Kashawndra Cooper

Most Dramatic: Mikinna King and Georgia Taylor

Most Original: Jason Anderson and Ashley Clute

Most Dynamic: Hannah Thompson and Preston Dildine

Most Captivating: Brad Monts and Katie Wallace

Most Uplifting: Nick Sommer and Ashley Kight

Most Artistic: Austin Earl and Stephanie Deaton

Most Fun: Dan Rogers and Anna Templeton

Most Expressive: Jacob Moore and Kaylynn Ranspach

Masters of Ceremonies Dianne Magstadt and Jim Amidon closed the program by thanking attendees and inviting them to get involved with the Youth Service Bureau.