Arthur Murray Presents Dancing with Chicago Celebrities, held on Friday, March 10 at the Hilton Chicago, welcomed nearly 600 guests to the 12th annual, “Rock Around the Clock” themed gala to benefit the fight against breast cancer.
Local celebrities and corporate superstars, each paired with a professional partner from Arthur Murray Dance Centers, competed to help raise a record-setting $300,000. Net proceeds benefit organizations impacting Chicago’s fight against breast cancer through preventative research and access to care: A Silver Lining Foundation, University of Chicago Cancer Research, Lurie Cancer Center and City of Hope.
Jason Davis, former NFL player, was crowned 2017 Celebrity Superstar for his high-energy dance moves including his jaw dropping, signature triple flip. Lee Allison, The Lee Allison Company, earned a rousing ovation and took home the title of Corporate Challenge Dance Champion.
The Celebrity MVP trophy for highest fundraising went to NBC 5 TV’s Peggy Kusinski, who dedicated her dance to her sister Patty Kusinski Smith, who died after a fearless battle with breast cancer. Peggy raised an impressive $35,000 to break the celebrity fundraising record previously held by Lou Manfredini of WGN Radio.
The Corporate Challenge MVP for raising the most funds was gratefully awarded to Lee Henderson, Ernst & Young.
Celebrity dancers also included Brent Sopel, former NHL player; Lauren Magiera, WGN TV; Sandra Torres, CBS 2; Liz Nagy, ABC 7; Jenny Milkowski, FOX 32; Anthony Ponce, Backseat Rider Podcaster; and Omar Ramos, Univision.
Corporate Challenge Superstars also included Dr. Regina Stein, Northwestern Memorial Hospital; Joan Morris, The Home Depot; Dr. Nora Jaskowiak, University of Chicago Medicine; Michele Hoskins, Michele’s Foods; Katherine Hampson, UBS; and Tracey Seward from Accenture.
This year’s glamorous competition was judged by Snow Urbin, finalist on FOX’s “So You Think You Can Dance” and current Arthur Murray U.S. National Rhythm Champion, Nick Kosovich, ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” professional and US and Arthur Murray champion; Jarrett Payton, WGN TV and CLTV, former NFL player and 2016 Celebrity Champion; Quinton MacAdam, Arthur Murray franchisee and Rick Bayless, Top Chef Master and 2006 Celebrity Champion.
Annually, the Dancing with Chicago Celebrities board gives the Katrina Rodriguez Morales Memorial Award to an Arthur Murray professional who has shown exceptional commitment to the event and the fight against breast cancer. This year, the award was presented to Nick Kosovich.
When not hitting the dance floor themselves, guests of the 2017 Dancing with Chicago Celebrities soiree also indulged in food and cocktails, generously bid on silent and live auctions, and enjoyed a special showcase from the professional staff at Arthur Murray.
The event is organized and executed each year through the tireless efforts of the DWCC Board: Jill DeMarlo, Jane Melvin, Dina Bair, Amy Novotny and Steve Baker, who are looking forward to hosting “Lucky 13” next year.
Dancing With Chicago Celebrities is an all-volunteer, 501c3 charity. For more information please visit www.amdwcc.org.
Dancing With Chicago Celebrities featured in: