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Local celebrities compete, raise funds during Dancing with the Stars for Hope
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Dancing with the Stars for Hope
When: 7 p.m. Saturday, March 19
Where to watch: Natalie Jane’s Restaurant, 137 Hodges St., Cornelia
Cost: $10
More info:

Northeast Georgia residents will have the chance to see the popular “Dancing With the Stars” television series come to life. Only this time, the celebrities are local stars who will compete for top honors in Cornelia.

For its second year, Dancing with the Stars for Hope returns to the Habersham community. The contest will be at 7 p.m. March 19, at Habersham Central High School in Mount Airy.

Hosted by Circle of Hope and the Habersham County Rotary Club, the event is a fundraiser for both organizations.

“It’s benefiting both of us, but we host it. We (Circle of Hope and Habersham County Rotary Club) do all the preparation to put it together,” said Suzanne Dow, executive director of Circle for Hope.

In the event, 12 local celebrities are partnered with 12 professionals, who teach them a dance routine.

“They come in and perform on the night of the event,” Dow said, adding a committee of Rotary Club and Circle of Hope members select the celebrity dancers. “The goal is to identify people (who) the community knows and loves.”

The dancing teams then start raising money.

“They’re doing their own fundraiser and asking people to support them with $1 votes,” Dow said. “At the end of the competition, there’s an award for the team that raised the most money with $1 votes. And there’s also a judge’s award for the best dance. All this time that they’re learning all these dance routines, they’re also raising money for their team.”

The event is so popular tickets for the upcoming performance have already sold out. There is a second option though.

“For $10, they get a ticket to where they can come to (Natalie Jane’s Restaurant) and it will get them into the doors,” she said. “While the show is going on live, it will be streamed to that restaurant on a big theater screen and TVs all over the room as well.”

Dow said the fundraiser was inspired by success of similar events in the past.

“Other domestic violence programs are who I got the idea from and I brought it to my board of directors,” she said. “We were moving forward with this event when the Rotary Club approached us and asked to partner. It was an event that other shelters across the state have done successfully, so we didn’t come up with the idea but we definitely wanted to replicate it.”

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