The third installment of Dancing with the Seymour Stars has come and gone netting more than $98,000 for two local charities — a new record for the event.
Seventeen “celebrities,” including two husband-and-wife teams and a father/daughter matchup showed off their shimmies and shakes Saturday night to a sold-out crowd of around 500 at Celebrations Event Hall.
They also performed at a well-attended matinee show earlier that day.
All proceeds from the event are split between the Boys and Girls Club of Seymour and Seymour Main Street to fund youth programs and projects to enhance the downtown. Last year’s event raised just more than $90,000.
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Taking home this year’s title of champions were Tom Lewis, senior director of finance and supply for Kremers Urban Pharmaceuticals; Elizabeth Copeland, a gymnastics and tumbling coach and Patti Terrell, secretary at Seymour-Redding Elementary School.
It was the first time three people have competed together in the event’s three-year history, said emcee Jim Plump.
“Here at Dancing with the Seymour Stars we try to find something new, something a little bit different to keep you entertained, and this year I think this is it,” he said to introduce the act.
Performing a country-western routine that had Lewis doing a back flip, the team earned lots of laughs, cheers and applause from the audience.
Not to mention, plenty of votes.
Winners of the event were not determined by dancing ability and entertainment value alone, but by how much money they could raise.
Each dollar donated counted as one vote.
Teams raised money on their own prior to the show, some through crowd funding sites such as gofundme.com.
Final counts of how much each team brought in were not released.
After accepting their trophies, flowers and gift bags, the winners said being in the show was one of the most fun and enjoyable activities in which they’ve ever participated.
“Tom was hysterical to work with,” said Copeland, who choreographed their dance.
Although she was nervous at first, Terrell said she was glad to have had the opportunity.
“I had no idea that it would be that fun,” she said.
Lewis said all of the time they put into rehearsing “was worth it.”
“The practices were a lot of fun and I’m going to miss that. I guess I’m just going to have to find something else to do now,” he said. “I’m grateful we had so much support and could raise this much money for two great causes.”
Copeland said coming up with a dance for three wasn’t easy.
“I heard no one had done a country dance before, so I thought that would be something different,” she said. “I wanted to make sure no individual dancer was doing all the work or had the spotlight.”
Coming in second was Nancy Fleming, a retired educator from Seymour Community School Corp. and past director of Jackson County Americorps and Brent Byers, a food broker, dance instructor and owner of Dance Street Studio in Columbus.
Together, they performed a routine reminiscent of 1950s sock hops, with Fleming even donning a pink poodle skirt.
Before their performance, it was revealed that Fleming was voted best dancer in her senior class in 1957. The proof is in a picture that ran in her yearbook.
“A board member saw that picture and that’s how I got asked to dance this year,” she said.
Fleming said she agreed because she loves to dance, have fun and couldn’t say no to helping out kids and downtown Seymour.
Third place went to Dr. Kris Williams, who works at Schneck Medical Center and his wife, Stacey Williams, a stay-at-home mom of three young boys and a part-time instructor at Ivy Tech Community College.
They wowed with a routine in honor of the late King of Pop Michael Jackson, performing to a medley of Jackson hits including “Smooth Criminal,” “Billie Jean” and “Thriller,” where they were joined on stage by a large group of their friends.
“We have the most fun and amazing friends to help us out,” she said. “I sent out an email and no one told us no.”
The routine was actually her husband’s idea, Stacey Williams said.
“Originally, we were going to do an 80s montage, because we both love the 80s, but he suggested we just stick with Michael Jackson because he was such a great dancer and everyone loves him,” she said.
Stacey said being in Dancing with the Seymour Stars allowed them to spend more quality time together learning their dance.
“We had so much fun,” she said. “And I’m really proud of my husband because this is way outside the norm for him, and he did great. We didn’t have any expectations, except that we were going to have a good time. So coming in third feels like coming in first.”
Other participants in this year’s Dancing with the Seymour Stars were John Hiester and Michelle Carter, Katie Stam Irk and Keith Stam, Kevin and Laura Cottrill, Matt Nieman and Katrina Hardwick and Meredith Henry and Scott Gray.
While the votes were being tallied, the audience was treated to a performance of Uptown Funk by the Dancing Divas, Alli Reed, Betsy Bryant, Jennie Chase, Jess Otte, Lauren Kirts, Lizz Patterson and Mae Krumme and a tap-dance routine by Prisoner X, otherwise known as 2013 winner Dr. Charles Calhoun.
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First place – Tom Lewis, Elizabeth Copeland and Patti Terrell
Second place – Nancy Fleming and Brent Byers
Third place – Dr. Kris Williams and Stacey Williams