BRATTLEBORO—Every seat was occupied at Youth Services’ annual Gala & Dance Show at the School for International Training on Saturday, April 28, with 135 guests witnessing local “celebrities” showcasing their dance skills and supporting a great cause, according to a news release. New to the much-anticipated annual event was a twist on the hit reality show Dancing with the Stars.
Presented by SIT, the evening of food and drink started with a silent auction featuring art and crafts, gifts, and getaways from 95 local artisans and businesses, which brought in $10,000 for the nonprofit.
Dinner was followed by the “Can Windham County Dance?” show featuring local dancers of varying experience levels.
Kevin Lyman, Brattleboro Area Middle School principal, and his 10-year-old daughter Chloe, trained with dance professionals Ray and Lucinda Warren of Shall We Dance? dance school in Brattleboro for their debut performance.
Scott Phillips, sales manager of Chroma Technologies, is a former professional ballet dancer from dance companies in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. He performed the Argentine tango with Landmark College instructor Patrice Nolan.
Bea Fantini, a retired SIT educator, danced the Rumba with Matt Peake, a visual artist and retired family physician from Bellows Falls.
Mollie Burke, a Vermont legislator, performed the salsa with her husband, the actor, author, and clown, Peter Gould.
Top prize for fundraising went to “celebrity” Alberta (Bert) Knorr, a retired pediatric nurse, and her husband, Bill Knorr, a psychiatrist at the Brattleboro Retreat, for raising the most donations to support Youth Services’ critical safety net for local young people. Their sponsors contributed a total of $2,175 to the event.
In second place for fundraising was “celebrity” Scott Phillips, sales manager of Chroma Technologies in Bellows Falls, whose sponsorships totaled $895.
All together the five sets of dancing partners raised $5427, online and off, from 105 donors from as far away as Hawaii.
“We appreciated the great turnout from the community, the lovely venue SIT provided, and the dedication of the dancers and volunteers who made this a truly memorable event,” Youth Services Executive Director Russell Bradbury Carlin said in the news release. “Through their incredible support of Youth Services, it is clear that the community is committed to each young person realizing their full potential.”