Competitors have been chosen for the 2014 “Dancing with the Joplin Stars,” set for March 29 at Downstream Casino Resort.
This is the fifth year for the competition sponsored by the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce as a fundraiser for the chamber’s Art in Public Places project.
Local volunteer dancers are paired with dancing professionals for the competition. This year’s dancers are Brian Atnip, with Keller Williams Realty, who will be paired with professional partner Heather Lemons; Alicia Edens, Great Southern Bank, with partner Michael Bowen; Stephanie Norwood, Realty Executives, with partner Ben Whaley; Mike Olmstead, Fox 14-TV, with partner Kaye Lewis; Travis Renfro, Walk Talk Nutrition, with partner Grace Love; and Jessica Schaer, KSNF-TV, with partner Dale Clark.
The couples already are in training, according to a chamber release.
The event has grown each year in popularity and in the amount of money raised for Art in Public Places, according to Wendy Brunner-Lewis, communications coordinator with the chamber.
“They’ve raised more money each year; it reached $10,000 last year,” she said.
Projects funded by the competition include the mural by Anthony Benton Gude, grandson of Thomas Hart Benton, at City Hall, and the “Butterfly Effect” mural at 15th and Main Streets.
“Dancing with the Joplin Stars” tickets are $50 each, and cover dinner and admission to the competition. Tickets are available online at joplincc.com/dancing.html.
The competition will be judged by a panel of professional and celebrity judges. The couples will receive a technical score from the judges, and a first-place trophy will be awarded to the couple with the highest technical score.
The People’s Choice award will go to the couple with the most votes from the public and the audience. Those votes are $2 each and may be purchased at the event or online at the same site offering ticket sales.
The event is presented by Downstream Casino Resort.
PROCEEDS FROM THE COMPETITION are funding a mural under way by Garin Baker on the side of the building occupied by Corner Greer & Associates architects at 716 S. Main St.