Dance contest to benefit Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club

CHAMPAIGN — Sam Banks says he's not much of a dancer, but that won't stop him from giving his all in a local version of "Dancing With The Stars."

"Just like the show, I've got somebody coaching me," the Don Moyers executive director said.

The first Dancing With The Champaign-Urbana Stars is a fundraiser to support the Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club.

The event is Nov. 2, at the Refinery in Champaign and includes a dinner by Michaels' Catering.

Tony Clements, known locally for his Comedy Caf; Mike Namoff, owner of This is it Furniture; and Leslie Hartman, JSM Apartments, will judge the event and provide commentary.

Steve Khachaturian of Stevie Jay Broadcasting will serve as master of ceremonies. His son, Benjamin Khachaturian, is the DJ.

Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club is dedicated to improving, inspiring, helping, and stimulating the minds and lives of children in the community, said Phyllis Webster, president of First Bank of Champaign County.

Banks, the newly appointed director of the organization, and Champaign-Urbana "celebrities" will be dancing with professional dancers from the Regent Ball Room, Savoy.

Banks said he wants to revive some of the club programs that have been cut back in recent years.

"We're building back," he said. "We have 75 kids a day, up from about 40 previously. We're working with over 100 people, including teen services."

Banks said the club needs to grow even more.

"We're looking forward to growing that population. There's a need for community services, for after-school support. The kids otherwise wouldn't have a safe place," he said.

Banks said there's been much support from businesses and institutions after many lean years.

"That's one of my big hopes, to get more community involved. One of many things we need to do is get community involvement, from the fundraising at volunteer standpoint. This effort is a step in the right direction," he said.

According to a press release, Christie Ramshaw of Ramshaw Real Estate recruited the dancing celebrities, including Michael Comet, Pepsi; Todd Petersen, Firelands; Amy Armstrong, Armstrong Lumber; Leah Heil, Refinery; Dick O'Neill, Prospect Bank; Parham Parastaran, Car-X; Kris Harrington, Avoya Travel; Craig Detamore, Craig E. Detamore Insurance; and Cindy Somers, Spherion.

Other sponsors include Elite Entertainment, the Refinery and Franchise Management — Arby's.

Additional sponsorships are still available.

Committee members also include club board member, Mark Ritz, Michelle Murphy and David Lin, owner of the Regent Ballroom.

Call Greg Frasure at 403-4409 for more information.

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