The show must go on

First Posted: 4/1/2014

All good things must come to an end, but hopefully not prematurely.

Such is the case with the United Way’s Dancing with the Robeson County Stars, the third of which was held last weekend at the Southeastern North Carolina Agricultural Events Center. There was conversation during the event that the show might might not be held in 2015, but if the most recent edition is any indication, it will indeed return by popular demand.

The weekend show raised $136,000 for desperately needed initiatives to combat illiteracy in Robeson County, adding to the $314,000 that had been raised during the first two events. And while that figure is impressive, it is only a single measure of the event’s success.

The show was sold out both nights, during the rehearsal on Friday and Saturday’s main event. People of all color and from all corners of the county came together and were entertained, forged friendships that otherwise might never have been made — and generously contributed to the cause.

It was heartening to see Robeson County residents, who are often divided over issues that do not matter, join hands for one that does.

There is so much credit to spread around, but it begins with the local chapter of the United Way, Executive Director Sandra Oliver, the board, staff and volunteers. If you have attended any of the three editions of the event, you have an idea of how much work is involved, and you have to have been impressed with the event’s choreography. They are run smoothly and professionally, with very few awkward delays.

Then there are the 32 dancers who not only risked embarrassment — they were all great, by the way — but invested a bunch of time in practicing their dance routines and also took seriously the assigned of trying to raise $5,000 each. A nod to the dance instructors who likewise donated to the effort, and the judges, whose investment was mostly to enjoy the show.

We are told that consideration of a year off was prompted by a bit of difficulty this year in finding enough dancers. So before we wrote today’s Our View, we spoke with United Way officials, and apparently that concern has evaporated as a long line has already formed.

It’s not official yet, but all signs point to a fourth annual Dancing with the Robeson County Stars being held in 2015. We think that news is worthy of a celebratory jig.