It was a sold out show for the dancing event of the spring. Dancing with the Stars Marquette County Style crowned a winner Thursday night.
Eight couples were vying for the Mirror Ball Trophy in the event that benefited the U.P. Hospice Foundation. The night kicked off with a cocktail party, allowing guests to donate money to the hospice foundation.
The event raised around $35,000.
“We had initially said if we broke even and didn’t lose any money that the awareness itself (for the hospice foundation) would be a win-win situation,” Lindsay Hemmila, Director of Community Services for the U.P. Hospice Foundation and DWTS Event Coordinator, said. “And then we started thinking, ‘Hey, we might make some money here’. Then we started thinking ‘Wow, this might be a huge success’. And that’s what it’s turned out to be, a huge success.”
The couples put in months of practice. They said they were happy to participate in an event for such a great cause.
“Knowing that the money that we raise tonight stays here in the community, it’s a worthwhile cause,” Bobby Glenn Brown said, who danced the County Quick Step with Nheenan Ittner.
“And it’s not really about winning, it’s about helping our your community, volunteering and giving back.”
“With all of this fun, we know we’re going to grant the wishes of hundreds of people,” Ittner said.
“(It’s great participating) for such a great organization, and we’re really happy to give back,” Elizabeth Peterson-Stelwagen said. “It’s been a really fun, competitive atmosphere, but at the end of the day, all the money goes to hospice patients around the Upper Peninsula. So, everybody’s a winner.”
Alicia Frechette and Jeremy Hanson, who danced the Cha-Cha won the Mirror Ball Trophy.
Chantae Lessard and Phil Johnson won the Fan Favorite award, raising $4,000.
Hemmila said plans are already starting for next year’s Dancing with the Stars.