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Local Families Living with Alzheimer’s or Related Dementia to benefit from the 13th Annual Dancing with the ARK Stars Competition



Press Release

The ARK of South Carolina will host its 13th annual Dancing with The ARK’s Stars fundraising event on May 13th. A professional pilot, a principal and editor 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 so grateful to the dancers who take time away from their jobs, families, and personal time to help raise funds for The ARK of SC’s vital services in the Charleston area,” said Peg Lahmeyer, executive director of The ARK. “This event is integral to our fundraising success and allows us to help even more families as they care for loved ones with Alzheimer’s or related dementia.”

Tickets are $85 single or $160 per couple in advance and will increase at the door. General admission tickets include open bar, heavy hors d’oeuvres, dancing, and a silent auction bidder number. Seating is on a first come, first serve basis. Cocktail attire is requested. Reserve your tickets online. There are many sponsorship levels that are tailored to meet the needs of all supporters, contact or call 843-471-1360.
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 teamed up with a professional dance partner from Ballroom Dance Charleston, a 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 2023 dancers include:

  • Lucia Campbell, Broker Sales Agent, Milers Properties, LLC
  • Katie DePoppe, Executive Partner, Chick-fil-A Goose Creek & Summerville
  • Lorna Hollifield, Managing Editor, Mt. Pleasant Magazine & Charleston Women Magazine
  • Priscilla Johnson, Principal, Joseph Pye Elementary School, Dorchester District Two
  • Michael Tupper, Owner, Mike’s Garage
  • Bill Young, retired USAF and a professional pilot for Jenkins Aviation, Intertech Group

The 2023 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
  • Melody Chabala
  • Charlene Mims
  • James Jiang

The 2023 judges include:

  • Carolyn Murray, WCBD News2 co-anchor
  • Russ Lloyd, Innovative Resource Management
  • Dr. Alli Wimberly McCall, Pratt Physical Therapy

Similar to the hit TV show “Dancing with the Stars,” three 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.

Dorchester County Probate Judge, Mary Blunt is The Dancing with the ARK’s Star’s 2023 “Mirror Ball Sponsor.” This is Judge Blunt’s 13th year as The ARK’s title sponsor in memory of her mother, Dr. Lidia Vallarino, who had Alzheimer’s.

Dancing with The ARK’s Stars will be held at the Lowcountry Conference Center Summerville Hilton. As venue sponsor, with 15,000 square feet of ballroom space, the Lowcountry Convention Center is the largest convention facility in the Charleston metro area.
The 12th Annual Dancing with The ARK’s Stars event was held in May 2022 and raised $172,300, with 450 people in the audience. Russ Lloyd and Debbie Charles Housand took home the 2022 Mirror Ball Trophy. Lloyd raised a record high $67,179 for The ARK of SC in memory of his mother, Helen Lloyd. Dr. Alli Wimberly McCall and David Roland took home the 2022 Judges’ Award for their foxtrot dance performance.


Based in Summerville, South Carolina, The ARK is a local nonsectarian nonprofit outreach program providing hope and relief to families living with Alzheimer’s Disease or a Related Dementia (ADRD). Support services include social respite care, support groups, education, caregiver consultations, resource referrals, and community development. For more information: 843-471-1360,, @thearkofsc

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