Eight local celebrities recently took to the stage at the Akron Civic Theatre for the 5th annual “Dancing for the Kids” event hosted by the Emerging Leaders of Akron Children’s Hospital. The event raised $89,139 for the Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Program at the hospital’s Showers Family Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders.
Dance Unlimited, a therapeutic dance program at Akron Children’s for patients of all abilities, started the evening’s events with 3 inspiring routines, and then the celebrity dances kicked off with an upbeat performance by Mark Ratcliffe, vice president of NA Supply Chain, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., to Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling.”
In addition to Ratcliffe, celebrity dancers included:
- Jack Davis – Chief of Police, Cuyahoga Falls Police Department
- Laura Engles –Akron Children’s Hospital Women’s Board
- Jerry Gootee – Partner, Ernst & Young
- James Hardy – Chief of Staff, Mayor Dan Horrigan’s Office
- Sara Kline – Mayor, City of Stow
- Dan Pettee – Director, solid tumor program pediatric hematologist/oncologist, Akron Children’s Hospital
- Breanna Coonce – Patient at Akron Children’s Hospital
Each local celebrity was paired with a dance student from The University of Akron who choreographed the routines.
Judges for the event included Bill Considine, president and CEO of Akron Children’s; Justin Hilton, senior associate vice president for university relations at Kent State University; and Don McCardle, professional dancing competition judge and founder of McCardle’s Dance Studio. KDD’s Keith Kennedy served as emcee.
After receiving the only unanimous “10” rating from the judges, Coonce took home the “Best Dancer” mirror ball trophy for her routine to “Popular” from the musical “Wicked.” Coonce recently celebrated her one-year anniversary of being cancer-free.
Gootee was awarded the “Top Fundraiser” mirror ball trophy after raising $15,733 and Dr. Pettee also received an award for raising $12,825.
“Dancing for the Kids is such an incredible fundraiser for the Showers Family Center, it’s an event that the community really gets behind,” said Machelle Syx, corporate alliance coordinator for Akron Children’s Hospital Foundation. “We’re so grateful to the Emerging Leaders for putting it on for five years now.”
Northwestern Mutual was the presenting sponsor for the evening and the Showers Center was the matching sponsor, matching donations at the event up to $10,000.
See more photos from the 2016 Dancing for the Kids event below.