Kearney, Neb., March 26, 2019 – The scores are in and the winners have their trophies. On March 23, more than 800 attended the third Kearney’s Dancing with the Stars, and celebrated the performances of Judges’ Trophy winners Brian Cochran and Elizabeth Roetman; and People’s Trophy winners Mark Stute and Leslie Martin.
Dancing rocked the evening and guests packed the Younes Conference Center Ballroom to witness a star-filled event co-hosted by Seth Denney and Lana Greene. More than $143,000 was raised from the event. After expenses, Kearney Rotary clubs and the collaborating suicide prevention and post-vention causes will receive the profit from the generous support from the Kearney community. The dancers were:
- Wendy Kreis, Broker, Vertical Focus Realty and Alex Straatmann, President, Kearney Public Schools Board of Education
- Nita Unruh, Professor and Chair, Kinesiology and Sport Sciences, UNK and Marc Bauer, Interim Athletics Director at UNK
- Renae Zimmer, Co-founder, Central Nebraska LOSS Team and Alex Schwarz, Operations/sales manager, Yellow Van Cleaning and Restoration
- Elizabeth Roetman, Vice president, Economic Development Council of Buffalo County and Brian Cochran, Owner, Midwest Connect
- Cheryl Webber, Coordinator, Kearney Therapeutic Horseback Riding Program and Nate Brown, NTV’s ABC-TV Sports Broadcaster
- Leslie Martin, Community volunteer and Mark Stute, Principal, Meadowlark Elementary School
The 12 were featured performers for a fund-raising spectacle March 23 at Younes Conference Center, sponsored by Kearney’s Rotary clubs. By voting for the 12 dancers online and the night of the event, Kearney’s Rotary clubs raised tens of thousands of dollars to stop suicide, benefitting Central Nebraska LOSS Team, McKenna’s Rae of Hope, and Buffalo County Community Partners’ Hope and Healing. Additionally, the funds will support local and international Kearney Noon Rotary and Kearney Dawn Rotary causes.
Judge’s Trophy was presented to the best dance performance, and People’s Choice Trophy was for highest vote (dollars raised).
Denney and Greene emceed the event, which also included performances by Cole and Suzanne Brodine of Elm Creek – a show-beginning tango; and by dancers Dillon Nelson and Erin Finke as a moving tribute to victims of suicide. Judges were past judges’ choice winners Mark Sutko and Marsha Wilkerson, Joe and Pam Methe, and Mike and Diane Sciacitano. Cornerstone sponsors were Platte Valley Auto and Younes Hospitality.
Volunteer instructors were Dillon Nelson, Kirby and Ronda Andersen, Jessica Dubas, Kathy Huddleston and Noelle Bohaty.
A Kearney’s Dancing with the Stars 4 event is planned for October 2020.
About Rotary: Rotary International is a 106-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. Kearney has two Rotary clubs: Dawn, meeting at 7 a.m. Wednesdays at Alley Rose; and Noon, meeting at noon on Mondays at Ramada Inn, both in Kearney. A new after-hours club meets the second and third Mondays at Cunningham’s downtown. Rotary fund-raising and support focuses on clean water, eradicating diseases like polio, supporting education and growing local communities.