Dancing for a good cause: Local fundraiser returns in person for 11th year | SteamboatToday.com

Dancing for a good cause: Local fundraiser returns in person for 11th year

Dancers Kathryn Pedersen, front, and Andrea Kortas strike a pose while working on their routine for the Steamboat Dancing with the Stars fundraiser in 2017.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

One of Steamboat’s favorite fundraisers will return in person next weekend as eight pairs of locals take the stage at Strings for this year’s Dancing with the Stars.

The fundraiser supports Northwest Rocky Mountain CASA and the children that the nonprofit serves. Due to COVID, the event was canceled in 2020 and was done in a virtual format in 2021. Routt County Program Coordinator Lauren Rising said that the group is “ecstatic to be able to hold Dancing with the Stars in person this year.”

“Dancing with the Stars is a lighthearted show that raises awareness for child abuse and neglect in our community, as well as raising funds so we are able to continue to provide advocacy for our community’s most vulnerable children,” said Rising.

Northwest Rocky Mountain CASA has seen an increase in the need for advocates for children in Routt County.

In 2021 CASA volunteers served 18 children and provided more than 150 reports to the court where a child’s voice was heard about the decisions being made for their future. Additionally, they provided over 275 safe visitations for children in Routt County through their Rocky Mountain Center supervised visitation program.

In the event’s 11th year, eight pairs will dance on stage, competing not only for the best moves but also for the best fundraising efforts.

“Our stars are Steamboat locals who want to give back to the community and who are willing to get on stage and dance in front of 500 plus people,” said Rising. “Our choreographers are locals in the dance community who graciously donate their time and talents in teaching their star.”

This year, dancer Jen Hubler was paired with choreographer Scott Goodhart.

Hubler, who had no previous experience with partner dancing, chose to participate both to help the nonprofit and also to push herself out of her comfort zone.

“First and foremost, I chose to participate to support CASA,” said Hubler. “This is their biggest fundraiser and they haven’t been able to do it in a few years so it was compelling to me to help them meet their goals. It’s also been so exciting and different to learn partner dancing. It was a fun opportunity to push myself a little bit further.”

The duo began rehearsing in January and is looking forward to showing off their moves on Friday. Pairs have the opportunity to win prizes in several categories with the Grand Champion being the team that raises the most money.

Currently, just over $70,000 has been raised out of the $100,000 goal. And while the show is sold out, the event will be live streamed on their website, kidscasa.org. Voting is also open on the website – before the event as well as during the live stream.

“Every dollar counts as a vote and supports Northwest Rocky Mountain CASA in providing advocacy and a voice for children who have experienced abuse and neglect in the 14th Judicial District,” said Rising.

What: Northwest Rocky Mountain CASA presents Dancing with the Stars

When: 7 p.m. Friday, April 8

Info: Tickets are sold out for the live event. Visit KidsCasa.org to live stream the show and vote from home.

Dancing with the Stars star Chuck Cerasoli and choreographer Deb Curd-Kinnecome perform a disco-inspired dance in 2018. The annual fundraisier will return in person this year.
Drew Mulford/Courtesy photo

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