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Dancing with the Brunswick Stars

Story by Stephanie Wynalek

Photography by Ron Holden

Brunswick County ’s business owners and community leaders stepped up — and stepped out — for this year’s Dancing with the Brunswick Stars event benefiting the Brunswick Community College Foundation. The participants donned sequined costumes and dancing shoes and teamed up with area dance professionals for the evening’s performances, which raised scholarship funds for Brunswick

Community College.

This was the second year for the sold-out event held at the Sea Trail Golf Resort & Convention Center, and at the end of the evening a check for more than $330,000 was presented to the BCC Foundation. The funds were raised through both ticket sales and through votes at the event, which cost $10 each.

The evening was filled with disco, foxtrot, samba, tango, waltz and many other styles of dancing, as the participants and their professional partners took to the lit stage in the center of the ballroom. Performances were full of surprises, and the audience, full of friends and family, went wild at every twirl.

Brunswick County Sheriff John Ingram danced the jive to “Jailhouse Rock” with partner Valerie Taylor and incorporated a homemade cage as a prop. Ingram made the “ jail cell” out of PVC pipe one weekend and wowed the crowd by sliding his partner across the dance floor and into it at the end of the performance.

“I was a little hesitant initially because I had never had any type of dance experience, but as it progressed along I really enjoyed it, and it was for a very good cause,” Ingram says. “My partner, Valerie, made it much easier. If she could teach me, she could teach anyone! I was really surprised at the amount of money we were able to raise and I think it will have a very positive impact on kids’ lives.”

Wendy Milligan, who co-owns Real Green Turf and Milligan Farms and is also a broker with Coldwell Banker Sloane Realty, danced with professional dancer Dan Chop.

“It was amazingly successful. We raised so much money for these students, and I had the time of my life!” Milligan says. “There was such wonderful high-level competition and we just gave it our best shot. We got to learn something new, and that’s what the college is all about, to be a resource for people to learn and continue their education right here in the community.”

Gene Marshburn, owner and general manager of Jones Ford in Shallotte, performed the cha-cha with partner Jessica Stephens to “Do You Love Me?”

“I guess working with Jessica was my favorite part, because we started with really nothing in a sense, and in the beginning I was fairly apprehensive,” Marshburn says. “Riding back from our practices sometimes, I thought, ‘What have I gotten myself into!’ I was definitely out of my comfort zone. But it felt good to be a part of that event and of that success and to have contributed to the amount of money raised. Everyone involved should get a lot of credit.”

Debby Daigle, CEO of Plantation Properties and Coastal Commercial Real Estate, learned how to dance the foxtrot for the event.

“The fact that we were able to raise as much money as we did was just so amazing,” says Daigle. “I was really concerned with the state of the economy that we might not do as well, but it was a very satisfying feeling. It speaks a lot of BrunswickCounty, and I’ve been here since 1997, and the people here are so generous, they are definitely community servants. We should be proud of BrunswickCounty, because everyone really rose to meet the challenge.”

The event served to raise awareness and appreciation of the college as well and was a night to appreciate the efforts and talents of those who live and work in the community. The Brunswick Community College Foundation is dedicated to raising funds that provide scholarships and financial assistance to students in the county.

2009 Brunswick “Stars”

~ Jennifer Adams – SunTrust Bank

~ Courtney Babson – ATMC

~ Debby Daigle – President and CEO of Plantation Properties and

Coastal Commercial Real Estate

~ Dinah Gore (WINNER two years in a row) – Philanthropist

~ Vi Jones – BB&T

~ Linda Lynes – CEO and owner of Veranda Events, Inc.

~ Wendy Milligan – Co-owner of Real Green Turf and Milligan

Farms/broker with Coldwell Banker Sloan Realty

~ Lynda Stanley – COO of Dosher Memorial Hospital

~ Penny Redwine – Former teacher, interior designer, boutique owner

~ Jan Williamson – Managing partner of the Family Christian

Network, mother of seven

~ Currie Batchelor – Purchasing Agent for BEMC

~ Dr. Timothy Gibble – Atlantic Internal Medicine, PA

~ Larry Harrelson – Landscaping Contractor and owner of

Professional Grounds Management

~ Rev. Eddie Hill – Sharon United Methodist Church

~ John Ingram – Sheriff of Brunswick County

~ Danny Lane – Executive VP and CFO of Security Savings Bank

~ Gene Marshburn – Owner and GM of Jones Ford in Shallotte

~ Charlie Miller – Chief Deputy of the Brunswick County

Sheriff ’s Office

Professional Dancers

~ Karen Barr – On My Toes Dance Studio

~ Erin Holden – Dance Connection

~ Ann Hucks – Dance Connection

~ Jessica Ives – On My Toes Dance Studio

~ Sara Misiti – Brunswick School of Dance and Coastal

Contemporary Dance Company

~ Jana Sanders – Brunswick School of Dance

~ Valerie Taylor – Owner of Brunswick School of Dance

~ Jessica Stephens Williamson – Amy’s Academy of

Dance Arts

~ Dan Chop – Babs McDance Social Dance Studio

~ Jim Desmond – Member of the National Dance Council

of America

~ Juan Gonzalez – Fred Astaire Dance Studio

~ Paul McTaggart – Owner of Carolina Dance Partners, LLC

~ Christian McCullen – Babs McDance Social Dance Studio

~ Chris Madray – A Leap Above

~ Christopher Robbins – Encore DCS

~ Sal Teta – Instructor at numerous studios

~ David White – Owner of Hip Hop Styles Studios

About The Author

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