Dancing with the Stars fundraiser for local families living with Alzheimer’s

May 9, 2022

The ARK of South Carolina will host its 12th annual Dancing with The ARK’s Stars fundraising event on May 21, 2022. A Doctor of Physical Therapy, director of public relations, and CEO, are among the local personalities trading their day jobs for dancing shoes to raise money for Alzheimer’s or a related dementia. The fundraiser, which pairs local personalities with professional dancers, will take place at Lowcountry Conference Center Summerville Hilton, 406 Sigma Dr., at 7 p.m. Tickets for the in-person event are on sale now.

“For 12 years, our community has stepped up in ways that are so important to our mission,” said Peg Lahmeyer, executive director of The ARK. “More than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, and as many as 16 million will have the disease by the year 2050. Taking care of those in our communities who need it most, has never been as important. We are honored that these local personalities want to support the programs of The ARK by stepping up to fundraise and dance.”

Tickets are $85 single or $160 per couple in advance and will increase at the door. General admission tickets include open bar, heavy hors d’oeuvres, and silent auction bidder number. Seating is on a first come, first serve basis. Cocktail attire is requested. Reserve your tickets online. There are many sponsorship levels that are tailored to meet the needs of all supporters, contact Megan Severn for additional information at [email protected] or 843-670-4910.

Proceeds from this premier fundraiser support the many programs of The ARK as it provides essential services for families with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia. The ARK offers respite care, support groups, caregiver consultation, caregiver education workshops, resource referrals, law enforcement and first responder training, community learning programs, and rural services development. The organization serves five counties: Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, and Orangeburg.

Each dancer is teamed up with a professional dance partner from Ballroom Dance Charleston, a sponsor of the event. The dancing duos will perform at the event for a chance to win one of two titles: the Judge’s Award or the People’s Choice Award voted on by the audience.

The 2022 dancers include:

  • Sharon Benzenberg, Sales and Marketing Coordinator, Knight’s Companies & Michael Hogarth
  • Craig Byars, Materials Manager, Alkegen & Melody Chabala
  • Ashley Edwards, Residential Sales Counselor, The Village at Summerville & David Roland
  • Russ Lloyd, President, Innovative Resource Management & Debbie Housand
  • Dr. Alli Wimberly McCall, Doctor of Physical Therapy, Pratt Physical Therapy & David Roland
  • Tiffany Norton, Director of Public Relations and Volunteer Services, Colleton Medical Center & Klajdi Kasemi

The 2022 professional dancers from Ballroom Dance Charleston will coach the celebrity contestants and choreograph their routines. The professional dancers include:

  • Michael Hogarth
  • Debbie Housand
  • David Roland
  • Melody Chabala
  • Klajdi Kasemi

Similar to the hit TV show “Dancing with the Stars,” four couples will dance in each round, with the two couples receiving the most judges’ votes competing in a “dance off” to win the Judge’s Award. The couple receiving the most votes by dollars wins the mirror ball trophy for People’s Choice Award. Votes are $10 each and can be cast in advance at TheARKofSC.org or at the event.

Dorchester County Probate Judge, Mary Blunt is The Dancing with the ARK’s Star’s 2022 “Mirror Ball Sponsor.” This is Judge Blunt’s 11th year as The ARK’s title sponsor in memory of her mother, Dr. Lidia Vallarino, who had Alzheimer’s.

Dancing with The ARK’s Stars will be held at the new Lowcountry Conference Center. As venue sponsor, with 15,000 square feet of exhibit space, the Lowcountry Convention Center is the largest convention facility in the Charleston metro area.

Frankie Staropoli, State Sales Finance Manager at Republic National Distributing Company and professional dancer, Debbie Housand took home the 2021 Mirror Ball Trophy. Frankie raised more than $28,000 for The ARK of SC and in memory of Herman Muckenfuss. Jamie Touchberry, Accountability + Mindset Coach at Thee Little Bird and E2M Fitness and professional dancer, David Roland took home the 2021 Judges’ Award for their interpretive Waltz performance.


About The ARK, Alzheimer’s Family Support Services

Based in Summerville, South Carolina, The ARK is a local nonsectarian nonprofit outreach program providing hope and relief to families living with Alzheimer’s Disease or a Related Dementia (ADRD). Support services include social respite care, support groups, education, caregiver consultations, resource referrals, and community development. For more information, call 843-471-1360 or visit thearkofsc.org