031010dwts.jpgKate Gosselin and Pam Anderson are just a couple of the celebrities who are set to wow the nation when the hit show Dancing With the Stars returns to TV.

While names like Val Applewhite, David Hinkamp and Soni Martin might not cause a papparazzi feeding- frenzy like the national stars, they will cause quite a stir locally, as the Women’s Center of Fayetteville asks local celebrities to tap, swing and shake their groove things in the 2nd Annual Dancing With the Fayetteville Stars on March 20 at the Crown Coliseum Expo Center from 5:30-10 p.m.

Last year’s event had people talking, and organizers hope this year lives up to the hype as more chatter means more votes and more votes means more money for the Women’s Center to impact the lives of local families through the Lease to Home Program.

Lease to Home is designed to help people transition from homelessness to homeownership. So far, this effort has changed the lives of 33 families, moving them from either shelters or transitional housing or being on the verge of eviction to being property owners. The program includes support, guidance and counseling throughout the process.

In case you missed the event last year, here is how it works: 20 couples made up of local celebrities (in some form or another) will perform. They are working hard to put on a good show, but they are working just as hard to raise money, so they will be out in the community asking for votes (you can vote for them at www.wcof.org). Each vote costs $10.

“It is incredible how hard they work because no one wants to get on stage and do a bad job,” said Teresa Dagaz, The Women’s Center of Fayetteville project director. “They do a phenomenal job dancing and spend lots of time working on their routines, but it is actually about votes. They go out into the community and request votes. We have this thing called vote box, so they get vote boxed ahead of time and then at the event people can purchase votes. It is the only event where the contestants can win by having all of their votes paid for.”

The night of the “competition” will play out much like the TV show — except it will be even better for the audience. There will be a buffet dinner, with two wine tickets and there will be a cash bar as well.

Not only will there be emcees on stage, but there will also be two roaming emcees out in the crowd chatting with the audience. The dancers’ performances will be broadcast on big screens for those not seated near the stage. The three judge format will be the same as the TV show as they provide comedy, critiques and commentary.

“The food will be catered by Center Plate, that is always done by the Crown,” said Dagaz. “Last year the food was absolutely fabulous. We are doing it again at the Crown because they have been exceptional to work with and Moonlight Communications.”

“All of the proceeds go directly to our home program — no administrative costs are taken out it goes just strictly towards Lease to Home to build low to moderate income housing for needy families,” said Dagaz. “It is all worth the work we put into it because we know the end result — everything goes into housing. This is a collaboration with the city, the county, Restore Warehouse and the Women’s Center. It is so great to have all of these resources going back into the community.”

To reserve your ticket, vote or get more info call the Women’s Center of Fayetteville at 323-3377 or visit the Web site at www. wcof.org.

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