Valdosta Daily Times

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April 15, 2013

Coach Dean leads Dancing with the Valdosta Stars

Thousands raised for scholarships

VALDOSTA — Dancing with the Valdosta Stars raised tens of thousands of dollars Saturday night for Valdosta State University Theatre & Dance and Music students.

“We raised about $38,000 last night which is about $8,000 more than we made last time,” said Eric Brandt Nielsen of VSU Dance. “Of course, we increased the table availability this time which also helped bring in more money.”

VSU Head Football Coach David Dean and partner Sarah Wildes Arnett, a VSU Dance instructor, won the Audience Favorite Award Saturday night by raising the most donations, said H. Duke Guthrie, VSU Theatre professor.

Dancing with the Valdosta Stars paired well-known local people, such as Coach Dean the star, with dancing experts such as Arnett. They were joined Saturday night by State Rep. Amy Carter and Caleb Spivey; Donna Farwell, St. John Catholic School chorus director, and Alvara Leyva; Mara Register, assistant to the Valdosta city manager, and John Sineath; Robert Goddard, a financial advisor, and Hannah Moore; Dr. Charles Hobby and Ashley Thompson; David Troy, Lowndes Drug Action Council executive director, and Brooke Butler; Stephanie Blevins and Chance Wall.

The event began last year, proved a success, and was continued this year. The joint enterprise between the theatre/dance and music departments provides thousands of dollars in scholarships for performing arts students.

Last year’s event proved so popular that numerous people asked to be one of the 2013 celebrity dancers immediately following the 2012 event. The process of selecting the 2014 stars begins anew with the success of Saturday night’s Dancing with the Valdosta Stars.

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