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Dancing with the Stars Event to Raise Funds for Local Families Living with Alzheimer’s



The contestants

Press Release

The ARK, Alzheimer’s Family Support Services, will host the 11th annual Dancing with The ARK’s Stars fundraising event on May 15th, 2021. A nurse consultant, a REALTOR, as well as a South Carolina Army National Guard company commander, are among the local personalities trading their day jobs for dancing shoes to raise money for Alzheimer’s or a related dementia.

The fundraiser, which pairs local personalities with professional dancers will take place at Lowcountry Conference Center Summerville Hilton, 406 Sigma Dr., at 7 pm. Tickets for the in-person event are on sale now.

“We are thrilled to be hosting an in-person event,” said Peg Lahmeyer, executive director of The ARK. “For your safety and others, there will be some special guidelines during the event. We are honored that our local personalities want to support the programs of The ARK by stepping up to fundraise and dance. We have all had to adjust over the course of the last year, and community support is how we can provide for the families who are living with Alzheimer’s or related dementia in our area. More than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, and as many as 16 million will have the disease by the year 2050.”

Tickets are $70 in advance and $80 at the door. The evening includes heavy hors d’oeuvres, open bar, and a silent auction. Cocktail attire is requested. Purchase tickets online at or call 843-471-1360 for information.

Proceeds from this premier fundraiser support the many programs of The ARK as it provides essential services for families with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia. The ARK offers respite care, support groups, caregiver consultation, caregiver education workshops, resource referrals, law enforcement and first responder training, community learning programs, and rural services development. The organization serves five counties: Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, and Orangeburg.

Each dancer is paired with a professional dance partner from Ballroom Dance Charleston, the professional sponsor of the event. The dancing duos will perform at the event for a chance to win one of two titles: the Judge’s Award or the People’s Choice Award voted on by the audience.

The 2021 celebrity dancers include:

  • Jessa Carter, REALTOR®, The Coastal Connections Real Estate Team
  • Arthur Dehay, Sales and Operations, Murray Sand Company, Inc.
  • Rita May Ranck, Nurse Consultant, Caregivers Unlimited, LLC
  • Frankie Staropoli, State Sales Finance Manager, Republic National Distributing Company
  • Jamie Touchberry, Accountability + Mindset Coach, The Little Bird
  • James Weaver, Campus President, ECPI University and Company Commander, South Carolina Army National Guard

The 2021 professional dancers from Ballroom Dance Charleston will coach the celebrity contestants and choreograph their routines. The professional dancers include:

  • Michael Hogarth
  • Debbie Housand
  • David Roland
  • Georgia Schrubbe

Similar to the hit TV show “Dancing with the Stars,” four couples will dance in each round, with the two couples receiving the most judges’ votes competing in a “dance off” to win the Judge’s Award. The couple receiving the most votes by dollars wins the mirror ball trophy for People’s Choice Award. Votes are $10 each and can be cast in advance at or at the event.

Dancing with The ARK’s Stars will be held at the new Lowcountry Conference Center, the venue sponsor.  With 15,000 square feet of exhibit space, the Lowcountry Convention Center is the largest convention facility in the Charleston metro area.

The 2020 Dancing with The ARK’s Stars event raised more than $102,000. Nearly 400 people watched local celebrities and professional dancers compete. Cecil Buddin, a retiree, won the 2020 People’s Choice Mirror Ball Trophy with his professional dance partner, Georgia Grace Schrubbe, and raised more than $11,000 for The ARK’s programs. The 2020 Judges’ Choice Award went to Ginger Hamrick Arntz, a nurse practitioner at Elite Patient Care, and her professional dance partner, James Jiang, for their cha-cha performance.

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