DWTS: Marquette County Style draws sold-out audience to support hospice

Glitz, glamor, and a little fun were out in full force Thursday for the second annual Dancing with the Stars: Marquette County Style.

Eight couples have been practicing for three months and were finally able to show off their dance moves in front of a sold out crowd at the Forest Roberts Theatre.

Some dancers were a little nervous to dance in a big crowd, but knew it was all for a good cause.

“It’s a fantastic cause, it touches the lives of many people, and it’s really important to throw support in their direction because they make a difference in a lot of people’s lives,” DWTS participant Andy Langlois said.  “And that’s really what the bottom line is, as far as dancing and getting a little nervous here or there, I mean it’s nothing compared to what those people do every day.”

U.P. Home Health and Hospice added a live stream aspect to the show this year, as well as giving couples little challenges, like teaching a stranger on the street to dance, to help raise awareness for hospice and the event.

“(Because with) this event, we kick it off at the end of February, people are following t heir favorite couples, their friends, family, co–workers, over several months, so with the challenges we’ve been giving (the couples), and just the updates on the voting scores, it really keeps the whole community engaged throughout the whole event,” UPHHH Director of Community Services Lindsay Hemmila said.  “So even though tonight (Thursday) is the official night, it’s really like people for three months are enjoying a big performance.”

“The level of support by this community is fantastic, and we all know that about this community, it’s a special community, we come together on important topics,” UPHHH CEO and Executive Director Jeff Nyquist said.

“Last year we just wanted to do it and get the message out about what hospice is and the Make a Memory Program, and we ended up raising $25,000.  We were kind of blown away by that.  We’re looking at doubling, or even tripling that number this year.”

Stephanie Zadroga-Langlois and Andy Langlois, who danced the paso doble, won the coveted Mirror Ball Trophy.  Foxtrot dancers Phil and Britta Pennell won the Fan Favorite Award.