On Nov. 10, the fifth annual DC’s Dancing Stars Gala netted more than $250,000 for local charities, bringing the event's 5-year total to $1.3 million. The event was hosted by co-founders and co-chairs Maria Coakley David and Jim David at The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner and featured seven local Celebrities, four Corporate Challenge Dancers and one Alumni Dancer who have spent the past several months training for Saturday night’s performance. The winner of the Mirror Ball Trophy and $10,000 for her charity was Dr. Irma Becerra, President of Marymount University who raised more than $55,000 in cash and sponsorships. Her $10,000 winnings will go to the new Majella Berg Internship fund to help Marymount students who take on valuable unpaid Internships.
Director of Preconstruction Services at Branch & Associates and Chair of Associated Builders and Contractors, George Nash was the runner-up winning $5,000 for his charity, Youth for Tomorrow. Chris Farley, Owner of Pacers Running, was the winner of the Corporate Challenge, winning $10,000 for the Jennifer Bush-Lawson Foundation. The Corporate Challenge winner was determined in the same way as the overall winner: 60% Judges Scores and 40% Funds Raised. Farley raised over $60,000 in cash and in sponsorships.
“It was our 5th spectacular night of exciting dance performances by another wonderful group of generous leaders in our community. We all have so much fun watching these dancers battle it out with stunning costumes and routines that included, props, lifts, splits and spins. It’s great to hear the crowd react with emotion to the Judges scores and comments” said Maria Coakley David, CEO of C.J. Coakley Co., Inc. and co-founder of DCs Dancing Stars Gala. “I’m so proud of our sponsors, our committee, and our more than 60 dancers these last 5 years, who have helped us make gifts to more than 23 local charities of over $1,300,000. My husband Jim and I are so pleased to share our love of dancing with others as we change lives one dance step at a time.”
Former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer returned to the judges table for a second year and was joined by Monte Durham of Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta and returning for a fourth year, Chelsie Hightower from ABC’s hit show Dancing with the Stars. Emceeing the event were NBC Sports reporter Julie Donaldson and Emmy-award winning veteran news anchor, Will Thomas. Will and Julie kicked off the evening with a beautiful song and dance performance of their own! Another special treat for guests this year were performances by world renowned Irish Tenor Anthony Kearns which included the National Anthem. 2018 beneficiaries of the event included: The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Marymount University Majella Berg Internship Fund, Jennifer Bush Lawson Foundation and Operation Renewed Hope Foundation.