June 24, 2018
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‘Dancing for the Stars’

By Roxanne Moore Saucier, BDN Columnist

BANGOR — The Bangor Civic Center will be the venue on May 7 for “Dancing for the Stars” to benefit Phillips-Strickland House, sponsored by People’s United Bank. The theme is “International Dance.” Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, and the competition begins at 7 p.m.

“Dancing for the Stars” pairs novice dancers from the community with advanced dancers in a no-holds-barred competition. Featured international styles will include the Bohemian polka, Argentina’s tango, Colombia’s cumbia, German waltz, as well as the salsa, cha-cha and rumba from Cuba.

The seven Phillips-Strickland House dancers are Kristin Canders, Bucky Gahagan, Suzanne Kelly, Bob Potts, Phil Pouzol, Sue Stone and Danny Williams. The advanced dancers who are paired with them are Annette Anderson, Kristy Kerns, Dave Kneeland, Debbi Leavitt, Terence Lee, Kristy Michaud and Craig Stecher.

“Dancing for the Stars” is produced by Chuck and Sue McKay of Back Door Dance Studio in Eddington. Andrea Hand Photography is the event’s official photographer.

Dancers will be judged on skill, technique, originality and costumes. Supporters cast votes at $1 each for their favorite dancers. Joining the judging panel are Sister Mary Norberta, Chuck McKay III and Bruce Thompson. Stephanie Lanham and Jeff Fister will serve as co-hosts.

The dancer collecting the most votes will win –- but the real winner is Phillips-Strickland House in the nonprofit’s single largest annual fundraising event. The goal is to raise $32,000 from sponsors, ads, ticket sales and dancer votes to support the mission of Phillips-Strickland House, a nonprofit, senior resident care center in Bangor.

New this year, the dollar value of each ticket at $40, sponsorship and program ad may be applied as dancer votes.

“This promises to be a fantastic event,” said Karen Higgins, executive director of Phillips-Strickland House, “thanks to our fabulous dancers, judges, co-hosts and committee members who have all volunteered so much of their time.”

According to Higgins, Dancing for the Stars is an important event.

“Many of our residents qualify for MaineCare support, but it does not cover the cost of services we provide. We must raise $80,000 in contributions each year to guarantee these essential services. Tax-deductible contributions help to support high-quality care for seniors at Phillips-Strickland House, and we hope the community will generously support this year’s competition,” Higgins said.

People’s United Bank is the lead sponsor. Additional sponsors are Bangor Hydro-Electric and Dead River Co.

The event also is pure entertainment.

“Our dancers, co-hosts, judges and supporters operate under the 10 rules,” Higgins explained. “Judges may be blunt and outspoken; dancers are judged on skill, technique, originality and costumes; arm-twisting is allowed; we encourage stuffing the ballot box; people may vote as many times as they like; votes are just $1 a vote; the more votes, the more money raised; talent is not necessarily necessary; vote early — vote often; the dancer collecting the most $1 votes wins.

Tickets are $40 and may be purchased at the Bangor Civic Center or at Phillips-Strickland House, 21 Boyd St. International desserts will be featured from area restaurants, as well as coffee and a cash bar.

Phillips-Strickland House is a Bangor nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization serving senior residents age 65 and older. Phillips-Strickland is the only nonprofit senior residential care center in the area and provides a comfortable, congenial and professionally staffed living environment to support the daily living skills of residents who function independently. For more information visit http://www.pshouse.org or contact Sharon Nickerson at snickerson@pshouse.org or 941-2820.

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