DWOS sets new record

Published 1:14 pm Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Staff Writer

Dancing with OUR Stars grossed more than $51,000 for Washington food pantry Eagle’s Wings, breaking all previous fundraising records for the 3-year-old event.
The Aug. 21 fundraising dance-off brought in $51,895.78, according to Shannon Reising, who served as interim executive director of Eagle’s Wings during DWOS.
The money will help feed hundreds of needy people over the next year.
“I know people did so much work, but on the other hand it just blew my mind — especially for Washington and especially for these economic times, it was unexpected,” Reising said.
Reising also served as one of the DWOS choreographers.
“It’s just a phenomenal experience,” she commented. “It has changed my life as far as philanthropy as a whole. I’ve always thought of myself as a giving person, but seeing what people gave this year from a time and giving standpoint, it has really changed my view as far as what giving is.”
Director/choreographer Janet Cox was equally pleased with the amount of money generated by DWOS.
“It’s much more than we had anticipated making, and I am thrilled, obviously,” Cox said.
Cox highlighted her appreciation of the stars and dancers who beat the bushes for donations. She said sales of DVDs crafted by videographer Randy Walker will boost the fundraising figures even further.
“I’m happy that it has been a great success,” Cox said of DWOS. “I’m a little sad that it’s over because it’s always a little bit a of a letdown when a great show is over.”
Eagle’s Wings fed more than 1,168 different families — 3,300 people — in 2009, related Russell Smith, one of the organization’s board members.
The money given through DWOS “stays right here in Beaufort County,” and all of it will be used to feed the hungry, Smith said.
“We are real excited,” he shared. “It’s such a large portion of our budget. We were a little wary with the way the economy was and having done (DWOS) twice.”
As for the gross income raised by DWOS competitors and others, Smith said, “I am blown away by that, considering the economy.”
To order a DVD of Dancing with OUR Stars, stop by Eagle’s Wings, 932 W. Third St., between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays or call the office at 252-975-1138. The DVDs cost $20 each, and they feature special effects and other enhancements that go above and beyond the original performances, said Cox and Reising.