In 2009, Cheryl Wingard had a vision of bringing a fundraiser to Clarendon County that was unique, fun and exciting as well as profitable for several different charities. That year, she stood on the stage of The Cypress Center at the first Dancing with the Stars event.
“Ten years ago, I stood there with nervous anticipation of turning a dream into a reality,” said Wingard. “There is one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve and that is the fear of failure. I was cautious of the failure and yet here we are years later with not one but ten amazing events.”
This year’s event is shaping up to be sold out just like every year since the first one. The dancers will be Sam Porter and Dede Lowder, Peggy Collins and Braydon Smith, Jake McElveen and Leigh Ann Maynard, Gillie Revell and Lauren Nettles, Craig Varn and Emily Richburg, Jesse Surette and sister Grace Surette, David Hampshire and Brooklyn Cox, Carrie Trebil and Griffen Thompson, Dwight Stewart and Linsey Wells, Lillie Blakelyn Coker and Brayden Smith, Graham Johnson and Hannah Yarborough, Caetie Rabon and Ro Romero, Sharon Thames Simms and Osagie Ehigie, and Jordan Rhodes and Sam Porter. Jason Montgomery will also perform a dance with Linsey Wells in honor of the late Judge James Dingle who participated in the event two years ago.
One of the many charities that Dancing with the Stars has supported each year is Clarendon County Habitat for Humanity. “Cheryl and her committee have had a major impact on the recent success of Clarendon County Habitat for Humanity’s mission work,” Cleve Dowell, Clarendon Habitat for Humanity President said. “Their support has made it possible for us to build homes through our Christian ministry for many years. Our board members have been some of the finest dancers on the stage with the talents of Judge James Dingle, Judge Wright Turbeville and again this year Leigh Ann Maynard and Jason Montgomery. Not only is this a fun event, but it makes a huge positive impact on our community.”
This is the first year that Sharon Thames Simms, owner of Manning Radio Shack and Tropical Paradise Food Truck, has participated.
“I’m honored and excited to be a part of a competition that has done so much for our community,” said Simms. “Dancing with the Stars makes a generous donation each year to several worthy organizations such as Habitat for Humanity which is very near and dear to my heart.”
Grace Surette is also excited about dancing again this year. “Clarendon County Dancing with the Stars is my favorite event and I look forward to it every year. I am so thankful to have been able to be a part of it in some way almost every year,” Surette said. “I love dancing and I love helping my community. I cannot thank Cheryl Wingard enough for everything she has done and allowing me to be involved in. Since day one, I have been asking my brother to dance with me and this year, he finally agreed. I cannot wait to show off what this brother/sister duo has up their sleeves.”The location will be at the Bean Market, 111 Henry Street in Lake City. For more information, or to purchase tickets, please call (843)687-7774.