Dancing for Seymour: Event sets record, raising more than $133K


This year’s winners of Dancing with the Seymour Stars pawsitively stole the show.

Janet Myers and her dog, Winnie, danced away with the competition Saturday at Celebrations in Seymour by raising the most money for two local nonprofit organizations.

Coming in second were teachers Curt and Summer Schleibaum for their high-energy and colorful tribute to Mary Poppins and third place went to Katrina Hardwick and Dr. Brandon Millick for their sexy barbershop hip-hop routine.

Although individual amounts were not made public, the seventh annual event resulted in a record-smashing total of $133,388.95 raised. That money will be split between the Boys and Girls Club of Seymour and Seymour Main Street.

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Other dancers included Matt and Lindsey Montgomery, Marykate Helmsing and Matt Nieman, Chelsea Burrell and Scott Davis, Brandon Hunsley and Myka Wetzel and Drew Hunt and Sarah Arnold.

All dancers have been raising money on their own the past few months and on Saturday performed a matinee and sold-out evening show where audiences could vote with donations for their favorite pair. More than 800 people total attended both shows.

Myers said she was over the moon with how much money she and all the other contestants were able to raise.

“It just shows the big hearts of all the members of our community,” she said of the donations and event sponsors.

From the experience, Myers said she has learned a lot about the Boys and Girls Club and has enjoyed visiting with the kids there, even bringing Winnie along to entertain them.

“The Boys and Girls Club is meeting the needs of so many children and improves the quality of their lives,” she said.

She also was proud of coming up with such an original act. It was the first time a dog has participated.

“When I told people I was dancing with my dog, they opened their pockets and were so generous and so supportive,” she said. “What I like most about this is it brings the community together.”

Curt Schleibaum said the event is just another reason Seymour is a great place to live.

“It has been amazing to have the amount of support shown for us during this adventure,” he said. “This is what makes our community so great.”

The couple gave credit to their choreographers and dance coaches, former Dancing with the Seymour Stars winners Elizabeth Copeland and Angie Mellencamp, for coming up with such a challenging routine.

“They constantly pushed us to be our best,” he said.

Summer came into the routine with 12 years of dance lessons starting at age 3. But even though her animation during her performance was genuine, she said it doesn’t come easy.

“Even though I am totally outside my comfort zone, I have been all in from the start,” she said. “We have worked hard to raise money and perfect our dance.”

The event allowed her to get more involved in the community and spend extra time with her husband, she said.

But the best part was supporting two causes that are near and dear to both their hearts, kids and downtown Seymour.

Hardwick is a veteran Dancing with the Seymour Stars performer, having competed all seven years. Last year, she placed second and the year before that placed third. She also performed during intermission with the group Smalltown Realness made up of Karen Haas, Stephanie Hyndman and Avery Carney.

When Hardwick heard how much money they all had raised, she couldn’t hold back her tears and thanked everyone for their support.

“The way you feel when you’re here tonight and you see everyone gathered together in your community and you see the video of the kids from the Boys and Girls Club and you talk about your downtown, it is so amazing,” she said.

Hardwick also competes in Dancing with the Columbus Stars and said for a bigger city, it would be expected that it would raise more money.

But Seymour’s event blows it out of the water, she said.

“Our community is so generous,” she said. “I’m just so proud of everyone.”

She was especially proud of her dance partner.

“He brought it in every sense of the word,” she said of Millick. “The minute you put him on that stage, he gave it his all.”

Although dancing in front of a crowd is a big step out of some people’s comfort zones, that wasn’t the case for Millick.

“I love to have a good time and make people laugh,” he said. “This was a lot of fun for me.”

But it was a challenge too, because of his busy schedule as a surgeon.

“It’s for a great cause, and that makes it all worth it,” he added. “It was such a blast and just amazing that we raised so much money.

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Winners in the 2019 Dancing with the Seymour Stars

First place: Janet Myers and Winnie

Second place: Curt and Summer Schleibaum

Third place: Katrina Hardwick and Dr. Brandon Millick

History of winners:

2018 – Bri Roll and Alex Cazares

2017 – Angie Mellencamp and Dr. Nate Otte

2016 – Becky Boas and Brad Boas

2015 – Tom Lewis, Elizabeth Copeland and Patti Terrell

2014 – Tom and Dana Bollinger

2013 – Dr. Charlie Calhoun and Tammy Lewis


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