My Dancing With the Stars Experience

By Dawn McCoy of Tranquility Spa

Dawn McCoy and the American Red Cross DWTS Fundraiser. (Photo by Michael Peters)

Ahhh…..  to dance with a star!  It’s like a dream, a lifetime opportunity to be  challenged on yet another level.  I took this undertaking very seriously  and kept myself open to connecting with the vision and mission of the  Red Cross.  Since this experience is an event created for the intention  of raising funds for the American Red Cross, my initial focus went  directly to that.  I was inspired at 2 a.m. one morning with an idea.  I  awoke thinking, “We need more ways of sharing peace, love, happiness  and hope!!  Everyone could benefit from having a reminder or ‘token’ to  extend kindness and love to others!”  This is exactly where the initial  peace stone idea developed from.  My thought was, “It can’t get much  better than this!  I can create a gift or token that could be purchased  by one, but expand to touch the lives of many.”  When purchased, it can  benefit the person receiving the gift, go toward an amazing cause by  supporting the Red Cross, and help increase awareness.  As the old adage  goes… kill two birds with one stone.  My “Pass the Peace” mission was  created.  My sister and I created a poem to accompany each stone and  deliver the message of its purpose to whomever receives it.After creating the campaign, I moved on to finalizing the  music, working out which dances I would be doing and then figuring out  costume designs for the big day. My next step was to meet my dance  partner, Christopher Anthony Flores.  We had an instant connection; I  immediately knew that we would work very well together.  He had a strong  inner peace, mixed with a kind heart and an incredible love for helping  others dually combined with a passion for dancing.  He was incredibly  patient, helped me work through my “seriousness,” and allowed me to  experience many crazy, fun moments on the dance floor.

My journey continued and at times was definitely  challenging.  The dancing was a release and a wonderful way to keep many  things in focus.  As we made progress with technique and our routines,  Chris kept everything in focus.  He would always say, “Dawn as long as  you are having fun, that is the only thing that matters!”  I can’t tell  you how many times I had so much on my plate on so many levels that  “fun” was about the last thing on my mind.  That was the irony, the  lesson and yet another valuable perspective which needed to be brought  to my awareness.  Two weeks before the event it hit me.  We were in the  middle of practice and I realized in every other area of my life I think  and plan my next move.  Dancing for the female is about learning to  feel, trust, and express your love for the art.  As Chris would  repeatedly say, “HAVE FUN!”  I really correlated the symbolism of how  dancing related to real life.  Had I not had this experience to teach  me, I wouldn’t be able to share this new found perspective with others.   So as you learn to dance (live), have fun, learn to trust, and really  feel your next move.  So that’s it… it’s that simple!  You can connect  with someone, make a difference and share it with another.

Just like the song… “Life’s a dance you learn as you go,  sometimes you lead sometimes you follow.  Don’t worry about what you  don’t know, life’s a dance you learn as you go!!”

“Learn to trust and feel another’s heart, in that lies the  art!!”  Allow yourself the flexibility to be open to the next  opportunity, and in the meantime, be mindful and help raise awareness so  that we may truly be able to “Pass the Peace” with others.

In conclusion, Pass the “Peace” is a Campaign designed to  help connect relationships throughout the world. The mission and vision  of Tranquility Spa is to provide a ‘peace’ of Tranquility in the lives  of others.  Based on this parallel, I feel we (together) can have a  greater “ripple” effect on more lives and touch more hearts in the  process.  My request is that each stone be given with an act of kindness  for the intention of bringing us together for Tranquility.  Stones can  be purchased at Tranquility Spa or online through our website for $10.   The proceeds will go to the American Red Cross to provide hope in the  midst of disaster and at the same time serve as a reminder of why we are  all here.

“Pass the Peace”
The purpose of this little stone Is to strengthen you, alone.
With this token to remind, Inner strength and to be kind.
When you share this with another, Peace and Tranquility is what you’ll discover.
Increase the joy; find a way. Create a “ripple,” start today!


Dancing with the Stars Fundraiser Exceeds Expectations

The 4th Annual Dancing with the Stars for the American Red Cross of Northeast Wisconsin exceeded expectations, with the largest (sell-out) crowd, record fundraising and increased awareness to programs and services. This year’s event was held on Saturday, February 18 at the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center in Green Bay.

Rebecca Schuld

Together, with the amazing efforts of our ten celebrity dancers, our sponsors, and with the support of the community, we raised $189,000 to support Red Cross programs and services in our community.

“Here at the American Red Cross, we are truly humbled by the outpouring of community support received through the “Dancing with the Stars” event,” said Steve Hansen, the Chapter Executive. “Saturday night, the entire event concluded with the entertainment and demonstration of dancing skills by our 10 stars, but the real event started well over three months ago, when our dancers made the commitment to raise funds to support the lifesaving mission of the American Red Cross.”

Hansen also said, “Along with the outstanding support from our sponsors and community, the dancers poured everything they had into this event by generously volunteering their time and talent to make this event a huge success. On behalf of the American Red Cross, thank you for bringing compassion and hope to those in need!”

Thank you to our sponsors including: Oneida Nation of Wisconsin; State Farm; Festival Foods; Nicolet National Bank; Broadway Automotive and the Schneider National Foundation. We also thank our media partners of WBAY-TV2 and WIXX for their promotional support.

Our dancers definitely put their best foot forward to entertain and dazzle a sold-out crowd of 810 guests and volunteers. Our evening began with dinner and followed by our all-star dance program were each celebrity performed two dances. The night concluded with the awards ceremony and open dance for all our guests with music provided by Big Mouth & the Power Tools.

Taking away the top honors for the Mirror Ball Fundraising Trophy was Kate Burgess (right), Owner & President of FulfillNet AND Staci Kring (left), Vice President, Retail Sales of Schreiber Foods. These two ladies raised $47,000 each to support the Red Cross.

The People’s Choice award for showcase one went to Tommy Lemkuil and Taryn Oleson for their jive to “Footloose”. People’s Choice award for showcase two went to Staci Kring and Rane Cegelski for their Foxtrot to “Fever”.

Alyssa Zellner and Brad Hutjens

The Judge’s Choice were awarded to Brad Hutjens and Alyssa Zellner, for their Cha Cha to “Give Me Everything (Tonight)” for showcase one and for showcase two Matt Smith and Kari Hinrichs won for their Waltz to “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman”.

Special judges award went to Tom Lemkuil and Kate Burgess for their showmanship and Staci Kring for her technical expertise.

Special thanks to George Graphos, Cami Rapson and Chris Roth WBAY-TV 2 Anchors for being the masters of ceremonies and to Rebecca Messenger and Tom Choudoir for their professional, colorful and official judging commentary.

Dawn McCoy and Chris Flores

Thank you to all our star dancers for their time, commitment, energy and passion: Kate Burgess, Owner & President of FulfillNet; Tommy Fox, On Air Personality, WIXX; Brad Hutjens, Vice President/Chief Credit Officer of Nicole National Bank; Staci Kring, Vice President, Retail Sales, Schreiber Foods; Tom Lemkuil, Architect; Dawn McCoy, Owner of Tranquility Spa; Tricia Nell, Attorney, Liebmann Conway Olejniczak & Jerry, S.C.; Rebecca Schuld, Meteorologist, WBAY-TV2; Matt Smith, Weekend Morning Anchor, WBAY TV2; Robert (Bob) Warpinski Jr, IBM Senior Location Leader & Client Executive;  and Janet Gollnick, owner of DanceSport of Green Bay and artistic director of the event, Rane Cegelski, Chris Flores, Kari Hinrichs, Jay Morth, Taryn Oleson and Alyssa Zellner from DanceSport of Green Bay.

Thank you to our committee, volunteers and most of all the community for supporting your local American Red Cross of Northeast WI.

To view photos and video of the entire evening please go to our Facebook Page.

American Red Cross Dancers Announced for the 4th Annual Dancing with the Stars Fundraising Event

On Wednesday, September 28 the ten celebrity all-star dancers were announced for the 4th Annual Dancing with the Stars for the American Red Cross. This event will be held on Saturday, February 18, 2012 at the Radisson Hotel, Green Bay.

The 2012 “Dancing with the Stars celebrity line-up includes:

  • Kate Burgess, Owner/President of FulfillNet
  • Tommy Fox, On Air Personality WIXX
  • Brad Hutjens, Vice President/Chief Credit Officer of Nicolet National Bank
  • Staci Kring, Senior Vice President, Retail Sales, of Schreiber Foods
  • Tom Lemkuil,  Architect
  • Dawn McCoy, Owner of Tranquility Spa
  • Tricia Nell, Attorney, Liebmann Conway Olejniczak & Jerry, S.C.
  • Rebecca Schuld, Meteorologist, WBAY-TV2
  • Matt Smith, Weekend Morning Anchor, WBAY-TV2
  • Robert (Bob) Warpinski Jr, IBM Senior Location Leader & Client Executive, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Junior Achievement of Brown County

To view additional pictures of the live announcement click HERE.

These ten celebrities will be trained in two ballroom dances by DanceSport of Green Bay under the direction of Janet Gollnick, former Midwest champion. Their dance partners will be accomplished and skilled college-aged dancers from DanceSport of Green Bay.

The winner of the Mirror Ball Fundraising Trophy will be the dancer who is most supported by public and event votes. Votes will be in the form of dollars donated in support of the star dancer, both at the Dancing with the Stars event and dollars pledged in the name of the dancer prior to February 18.  Awards presentation include “Judge’s Choice” and “People’s Choice” trophies.

We are honored to have Dan Messenger of Milwaukee, a former National Champion and acclaimed Ballroom Judge, as judge.  Master of ceremonies for the event will be WBAY Anchors Cami Rapson, George Graphos and Chris Roth.

All proceeds for the event go to support local programs and services for the American Red Cross.

Tickets for the event will be on sale at the American Red Cross in Green Bay, starting January 4, 2012.