LUMBERTON — Dancing with the Robeson County Stars contestants took to the catwalk Thursday at Biggs Park Mall.
Thirteen of the 20 dance competitors put their best look forward during a fashion show to display new lines of clothing from six of the mall’s stores. They also collected votes for the dance competition that will take place from 5 to 9 p.m. March 23 and 24 at the Southeastern North Carolina Agriculture Events Center.
Chelsea Biggs, mall manager and a United Way of Robeson County board member, said she “killed two birds with one stone” bu sponsoring the event.
“I was in the first year’s Dancing with the Stars, and I know the struggle to get votes,” Biggs said.
The contestants modeled three wardrobes: professional, causal and outfit of choice. Dancers from Amy’s Academy of Dance performed as the models changed from one outfit to the next. Miss North Carolina United States Arlene Grady was the master of ceremonies.
“We wanted people to see that they can shop locally and still look good,” Biggs said. “Most of the styles are trending right now.”
Voting was a little slow at first but has picked up a great deal, according to JoAnne Branch, United Way development director.
Tables for Saturday night’s event are sold out, but Friday night tickets are available for $30. The Friday night show will allow live voting throughout the event, including voting for best costume and best dancers. Each vote costs $10 to cast. Friday night tickets are available at www.UnitedWayRobeson.org.
The couple that raises the most money through votes will take home the Mirror-Ball trophy.
The couples competing are team one, Rhonda Williamson and Jon Davis; team two, Michelle Hunt and Charles Townsend; team three, Michelle Smith and Brian Britt; team four, Catherine Gaines and Joe Terranova; team five, Jill Britt and Owen Thomas; team six, David McClish and Kristy Locklear; team seven, Terri Massol and Tim Little; team eight, Marla Bullock and Dennis Powers; team nine, Tanya Underwood and Hector Miray; and team 10, Angelica Chavis-McIntyre and Jason Cox.
Branch said it’s the cause that pulled some of the participants out of their comfort zones to compete in the dance competition.
“They all want to come together and help effect change in Robeson County,” Branch said. “It’s really for a great cause.”
The proceeds from this year’s event will benefit the Robeson County Family Treatment Court. The Family Treatment Court is a court-monitored substance use program that works with parents who are at risk of losing custody of their children.
“It’s always better to keep families together,” Branch said. “You just hate to see children put in foster care.”
The Treatment Court works to break the cycle of drug and alcohol addiction that leads to the abuse and neglect of children by their parents. This is done through judicial intervention, intensive addiction treatment and support services.
Without the proceeds from Dancing with the Robeson County Stars, the Family Treatment Court will not have enough funding to operate after June.
Staff Writer Tomeka Sinclair can be reached by phone at 910-416-5865 or by email at [email protected]