By Joni Harbin
You’re invited to United Way of Gordon County’s 10th and final presentation of Calhoun’s Dancing with the Stars presented by Mohawk Industries, Calhoun-Gordon Community Foundation, and Morning Pointe of Calhoun. The record-setting fundraiser will close with an April 16 finale at the Calhoun Performing Arts Center at 7:00 p.m. A dress rehearsal is scheduled for Thursday, April 15 with tickets sold at a discounted rate. This year’s show will feature a combination of adult and student dance teams as they compete to raise funds for United Way of Gordon County.
“I have had the pleasure of working with the Dancing with the Stars (DWTS) Committee to help execute one show and plan two others since I joined United Way,” said Latour. “The tenth year of Dancing with the Stars is a blend of everything accomplished in the past decade,” she continued. “This may be our last dance, but the future is bright indeed!”
Latour went on to thank the DWTS Planning Committee – Andy Baxter, Kristy Brown, Jennie Coker, Bekah Kirby, Amy Parker, and Michelle Frix Ward – for their hard work over the years. She also thanked all the sponsors, especially Mohawk Industries, which has been the premier sponsor all along and has been joined by two others this year.
“Mohawk has been proud to serve as the title sponsor of Dancing with the Stars since the event’s inception,” said Robert Webb, Senior Director of Public Affairs and Corporate Communications with Mohawk Industries. “For a decade, the dancers have entertained audiences and raised over a million dollars to support the important work of United Way’s partner agencies. We salute all the individuals who have shared their talents to make this such a successful fundraising event year after year.”
The finale will include several special features, but the dancers will be the stars of the show. The ten teams, listed alphabetically by the female partner’s first name, are Abby Crowe and Ben Bingham; Aubry Dorsey and Isaac Nance; Carly Curtis and Skylar Benham; Carson Glaze and Grant Glaze; Joy Nudd and Garrett Nudd; Kaylan Gaines and Addison Baker; Lily Stephens and Nate Stockman; Megan Wright and Christian Lewis; Raven Pasley and Ian King; and Suzanne Roberts with Tony Pyle.
Carly Curtis and Skylar Benham will hit the stage as Couple Three and the first adult team competing in the final presentation of Calhoun’s Dancing with the Stars. These dynamic young professionals are expected to leave it all on the stage as they dance for the United Way fundraiser.
Curtis was born and raised in Calhoun, where her family has deep roots in the community. Following her graduation from Calhoun High School, she attended the University of Georgia in Athens. After leaving Athens, Carly returned to Calhoun, where she has established herself as a young professional dedicated to serving her community. She is a thyroid cancer survivor and attends Rock Bridge Church.
Curtis is a member of the Gordon County Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals Committee, where she recently participated in the group’s annual Student Interview Project. She also is a member of the Murray County Chamber of Commerce. She volunteers at the Voluntary Action Center and is a board member of the Gordon County and Murray County Children’s Advocacy Department. She owns and operates Amavi Collective in downtown Calhoun. A licensed realtor, she also works with Samantha Lusk and Associates Realty.
Skylar Benham will partner with Curtis. Benham also was born and raised in Calhoun. After his 2007 graduation from Calhoun High School, he earned a Bachelors’ degree in Middle Grades Education at Kennesaw State University. He then completed a Masters’ degree in Instructional Technology at Kennesaw State University, followed by a Specialists degree in Curriculum and Instruction at Piedmont College. He is a former Teacher of the Year.
Benham serves as the Senior Sponsor and Student Government Adviser at Calhoun High School. He also is the adviser for the Interact Club at Calhoun High School, which often volunteers with Keep Gordon County Clean. Benham attends the Adairsville Body of Christ Church, where his father serves as minister. He enjoys traveling, spending time with his friends, exercising to keep a clear mind, and interacting with the students that make his job interesting.
First and second-place winners will be identified in two categories – Judges’ Choice and People’s Choice – for both the student and adult teams. People’s Choice winners are determined based on their fundraising successes. Judges’ Choice winners are determined based on the scores the contest judges give their dance performances. The adult teams winning in those categories will receive trophies and bragging rights. The student teams winning in those categories will receive trophies, bragging rights, and college scholarships. Each student on the first-place team in each category will receive a $1,000 scholarship and each student on the second-place team will receive a $750 scholarship. A panel of judges will be assembled from field professionals outside Gordon County.
Tickets will go on sale to the public on Saturday, March 27. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, tickets will be sold on a first-come-first-serve basis with limited audience capacity. Sponsorships remain available for individuals or corporations wishing to support the fundraiser. Those arrangements may be made by contacting the United Way office at 706.602.5548, or online at https://www.gordoncountyunitedway.org.
United Way of Gordon County is a local 501(c)(3) non-profit organization serving the Gordon County area. The mission of United Way of Gordon County is to Change Lives, Connect Community, and Challenge Donors to LIVE UNITED.