Locals to dance for charity
Two local business owners will be among those dancing the night away Nov. 1 in support of local youth with autism during the fourth annual Dancing with the Ohio Valley Stars competition at the Capitol Theater in Wheeling.
Marble King Chief Executive Officer Beri Fox is paired with Bartolo Cannizzaro, co-owner of the Academy of Dance and Theatre Arts in New Martinsville.
Each couple will perform a dance of their choice, to be judged by a three-person panel, in hopes of winning the event’s “mirror ball” trophy. Prior to the competition at 7 p.m., Ye Old Alpha will host a 5 p.m. pre-show dinner party in the theater’s ballroom.
Proceeds from the event benefit the Augusta Levy Learning Center in Wheeling. Established in 2005, the center was the first research-based program for children with autism in West Virginia and is the largest center of its kind. Staci Stephen, director of development, said the center needs funds to extend its reach in the community.
“We currently help about 13 children at a time due to lack of funding,” Stephen said. “Only two percent of autistic children in West Virginia are receiving the help they need.”
The other nine dancers who will be paired with an all-star cast, announced Friday, include Harrison Central basketball coach Justin Clifford, WTRF anchor Laurie Conway, Dr. Jamie Etzel, photographer Bennett McKinley, WesBanco Barnesville branch manager John Rataiczak, Wheeling Police Chief Shawn Schwertfeger, Security Travel owner Pat Viola, West Virginia Sen. Jack Yost (D-Brooke), and Susan Hogan, former Wheeling Symphony executive director.
Fox said she hopes local families affected by autism will feel supported by the event. “We need to rally around these children and their loved ones,” Fox said. “Above all else, they should know we acknowledge this problem and are there for them.”
Tickets for the competition will be available starting Friday at the WesBanco office or online at www.capitoltheatrewheeling. com. Tickets also will be available at the door starting at 6 p.m.