The Park Theater has done its part to revitalize downtown.
On Saturday night, it revitalized Dancing With Our Stars, a fundraiser event organizer Elaine Lawson was close to canceling.
“This was the biggest event we’ve ever had and it’s without a doubt because of the Park Theater,” said Lawson. “We made more money with our People’s Choice Award than the whole event made last year. I thought about not even having it again after last year, but this year it was just an awesome night. I’ve already made reservations for next year. It will be Nov. 4 for anyone who wants to plan on dancing.”
The night was rich with cash and memorable dance routines. Lawson said $13,720 was raised and all that money will be donated to Relay for Life.
Claiming first place for the Grand Champion Award was Timeless Treasures, a group of senior dancers that includes Sandra Burger, Jim Smith, Edie Dykes, Judy Turner, Barbara Garrettson and Mary Mullican. Timeless Treasures raised $2,931.
Winning the People’s Choice Award was the duo of Kenzi Hall and David Taylor. That honor was determined by the team with the most votes in their container, with votes costing $1 each.
Among event highlights, former Pioneerettes dusted off their dance tights and showed their still have some spunk with an energetic routine.
Dean and Sara Northcutt started with a slow dance, then changed speed by putting on shower caps and grooving to “Splish Splash I Was Taking A Bath.”
Tammie Gribble took the stage for a solo act where she twirled an orange UT flag while “Rocky Top” was played. The audience clapped to the familiar tune and cheered.
The ground floor of Park Theater was largely full with 216 tickets sold. Lawson pointed out the balcony is expected to be complete by next year to accommodate even more people if extra seats are required.
“This is so much better than having it in a gym,” said Lawson. “We had sound that didn’t echo. It was a much more elegant setting and the dancing was really good. I think everybody practiced a lot.”