‘Stars’ raise funds for 4-H

Published 8:56 am Tuesday, July 14, 2009

AHOSKIE – Linda Outlaw and Ervin Simons may have earned first place honors with the inaugural Dancing with the Stars event held here Sunday, but the real winner was the 4H Club of Davis Kids College.

In front of a standing room only crowd inside the Ahoskie Inn, nine couples competed for top honors. The voting process came by way of monetary donations made by those witnessing the event. Thusly, the couple raising the most cash was crowned as the winner.

All totaled, the event generated $1,176.18 for the 4H Club program at Davis Kids College.

“Anytime you try something for the first time, you just don’t know what to expect,” said Essie Davis who owns and operates the Kids College. “What we found out this first time around was that these stars stepped to the plate and did a wonderful job. We thank them for their efforts to assist our 4H Club in their fundraising. We also thank those who came out and supported us through their monetary votes.”

Outlaw, a retired medical office technician, and Simons were the seventh couple to hit the dance floor. Their routine began slowly before picking up the pace dramatically. Their dance steps were smooth, delighting the crowd to the point of opening their wallets and making the couple number one on the fund-raising list.

Local attorney Sonya W. Mastrodonato teamed with Aaron Mastrodonato, dancing to two Michael Jackson songs. Their upbeat style also captured the hearts (and cash votes) of the audience as they claimed the first runner-up trophy.

Despite her partner, Bill Britt of Britt Trucking, leaving the dance floor prior to the end of the set, Marion Slade continued to perform. That effort was noted by the voters whose cash donations allowed the Britt-Slade duo to finish as the second runner-up.

The remainder of the “stars” also performed well on the dance floor. Those dancing couples included (in order of appearance):

Ahoskie Mayor Linda Blackburn and Ercell Bazemore;

Juan Vaughan II, with the SACS program at Roanoke-Chowan Community College, and Stephanie Goddard;

Glenda Simmons and Kit Liverman;

Lakeisha Askew, enrolled in graduate school at NC A&T, and Victor Johnson;

Roanoke-Chowan Hospital President Sue Lassiter and Ahoskie attorney Ernie Carter; and

Hertford County Probation Officer Rochelle Simmons and Tony Simmons.

“You’ll see stars like you’ve never seen and you’ll see dance steps like you’ve never seen,” Master of Ceremony Wendell Hall, a member of the Hertford County Board of Education, said prior to the performances of the couples. “But keep in mind that whatever you see that this is all for the children.”

Not only did the “stars” show off a variety of dance moves, they also wowed the crowd with their flashy apparel.

“These are people you see each and every day,” Davis said. “Perhaps you knew they could dance; perhaps you were unaware of that fact. But whatever the case may be, the bottom line is that our 4H Club was able to raise funding that will allow them to participate in various activities and take educational field trips.”

One such trip may be to the White House. Davis said the group has written to President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama in hopes of arranging a trip to the nation’s capitol.