It's hard to believe, but it's been 10 years since Dancing With the Local Stars come on the scene in Muskegon and in those 10 years, the amount of money raised for area food banks is staggering. Dancing With the Local Stars is an event put on by the Womens Division Chamber of Commerce in Muskegon and in the 9 years they have been going on, over $755,000 dollars have been raised to help supply area food banks. Over 3/4 of a million dollars going to help those who suffer food insecurity in the Muskegon area is a monumental endeavor in itself, but Dancing With the Local Stars has gone on to do so much more.
For one, it's been a catalyst for a lot of new relationships in town. People who would have otherwise never met are coming together to share skills and ideas. Professional dancers and pared with local "celebrities" who learn a little about dancing, and they also use their connections to help raise some money and awareness about just how much need there is in Muskegon for those who go without the staples in their lives. Second, the event itself is held in February and if you've been around Muskegon long enough, you know that by the time February rolls around, pretty much everyone in town is dying for a chance to get out of the house and do something fun. Cabin fever sets in pretty hard by that time. Finally, to put a fun spin on such a serious need...that's a great thing. We have a true need for food here in Muskegon. We can ask, we can do canned food drives, we can take collections up at work or church, all of which are great efforts, or we can innovate and turn out an incredible event that focuses on the need but provides an outlet for some fun while doing it.
The Womens Division Chamber of Commerce is behind a number of great events. Downtown Dancing, Trinkets and Treasures, Fashion and Frolic, they all keep us busy, but Dancing With the Local Stars has become a marquee event in Muskegon and it's looked forward to every year by many. Mary Kendall founded the Dancing event all those years ago. I caught up with her Friday night as the cast of the 10 year celebration was about to be announced. Take a listen to our chat, which leads into a couple of the professional dancers, which leads into a visit from one of the original local celebrity's and another pro!
Dancing with the Local Stars is a 2 weekend extravaganza this year!! To be held at the Holiday Inn Downtown Muskegon on February 16th and 17th and the 22nd through the 24th. Tickets go on sale January 2nd and you can call Mary Kendall at 231-798-4244 to purchase yours! It's a great time and a great cause, so save the dates and be a part of the 10 year anniversary celebration of Dancing With the Local Stars!!