LUMBERTON — Practice makes perfect for Kelli Blue and Gary Patrick, who didn’t join the Dancing With the Robeson County Stars United Way event just to strut their stuff.
“I’m doing it because I think it’s a worthy cause,” Blue said.
Blue had to step out of her comfort zone to step into some dancing shoes.
“It’s a chance to … do something different,” she said. “It’s been fun and its been a nice little workout.”
Blue, a Pembroke native who is the director of finance for Robeson County, is partnered up with Gary Patrick, the assistant principal at Carroll Middle School.
Patrick surprised himself with how much he’s enjoying rehearsals.
“So far, it’s been fun. Really,” Patricks said. “It’s been more fun than I had anticipated.”
The second annual dance event will be held on March 23 at 6:30 p.m. at the Southeastern Agricultural Center and Farmers Market. The United Way event asks people to support their favorite couple by voting with a $10 donation. The couple with the most votes will win the competition.
Proceeds from votes, as well as ticket sales, go toward the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, a program established in 1996 by country singer Dolly Parton that provides a free book monthly to children 5 and under, regardless of family income. Tickets are $30 each.
The event raised $146,000 last year, and hopes are high that the numbers will be the same if not better this time around.
Blue, who is the mother of 11-year-old Jonathan Christopher, said books can make a big difference in a child’s life.
“I have an aunt who gave my son a book every week until he was 8,” Blue said. “It was done with same concept in mind. It makes just such a huge difference.”
There are 10,000 children 5 years old and younger eligible for the program, and only 1,300 children who are receiving books.
Registration forms to receive free books are available at the Lumberton Children’s Clinic at 400 Liberty Hill Road and the United Way office at 202 N. Chestnut St.
For information, or to vote for your favorite couple, visit www.unitedwayrobeson.org.