March 23, 2019 event to help stop suicide
Kearney, Nebraska, June 20, 2018 – Kearney’s Dancing with the Stars 3 is set to bring local celebrities and raise funds for area suicide prevention and healing programs when the stars hit the dance stage on March 23, 2019.
Planned for Younes Hospitality Center and brought to Kearney by Kearney’s Rotary clubs, the third event builds off the success of the previous two events that have netted more than $103,000 for area causes at a unique and entertaining fund-raising event that brings area celebrities to learn and showcase their dancing skills at a special dinner and performance.
Funds raised for KDWTS3 will go to area suicide prevention efforts under a collaboration with the Central Nebraska LOSS Team (Local Outreach to Suicide Survivors), McKenna’s Rae of Hope Foundation, and the Buffalo County Community Partners Suicide Prevention Coalition. Together these groups, led by local nonprofits, have worked to educate and raise awareness to prevent suicide among all ages; to prevent teen suicide by fostering awareness, resilience and social change; and providing support and outreach to friends and family affected by persons who die by suicide.
New leadership this Dancing season includes executive director Lori O’Brien. O’Brien is a lifelong Kearney resident with experience working as a paraeducator and an administrative secretary; and as a leader of the Avenue of Flags project and member of the VFW and Fort Kearney Shrine auxiliaries. She and husband Steve are avid dancers and served as celebrity judges for the inaugural Kearney’s Dancing with the Stars in 2016. As executive, O’Brien will coordinate meetings, sponsorships, dancer and other volunteer communication and help execute the event.
The original planning team is working this summer to secure sponsorships, recruit dancers and instructors, identify other volunteers, and begin ticket sales. Anyone interested in helping with the event in these ways should contact O’Brien at 308-237-7509. More information about the previous events and updates are at kdwts.org.
Past dancers have included Dan Lynch, Jonathan Nikkila, Mark Sutko, Jon Watts, Ross Finley, Steve Haskett, Betty Warren, Nikki Erickson, Marsha Wilkerson, Camie Rose Lentfer, Carrie Eighmey, Erika Godfrey, Angie Kratochvil-Stava, Marge Lauer, Marion McDermott, Leslie Means, Lisa Reese Parish, Elizabeth Plinske, Denny Placzek, Jason Sharp, Bob Lammers, Kyle Means, Josh Jelden and Josh Lamberson.
Rotary International is a 110-year-old international service club with 1.2 million members. It focuses on creating lasting change in communities and around the world, starting with members and clubs at the local level. Rotary focuses on Five Avenues of Service: Club Service to build fellowship through training and hospitality; Vocational Service by enhancing vocations and ethical standards; Community Service to improve community life; International Service through humanitarian work around the world and New Generations Service to engage youth and young adults in leadership.
Celebrating its 100th year in Kearney, Kearney Noon Rotary meets at noon Mondays at Kearney Ramada, and Kearney Dawn Rotary meets Wednesdays at 7 a.m. at Alley Rose. A new club, Kearney Rotary After Hours, meets at 6 p.m. every second and fourth Mondays at Cunningham’s Journal.