DWOS volunteers needed

Published 1:23 am Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The fifth-annual Dancing With Our Stars returns Aug. 11 to the Washington High School Performing Arts Center.
Though this year’s DWOS is months away, the planning behind it isn’t.
Last year’s team dance-dominated fundraising competition generated around $39,000 for Eagle’s Wings, a Washington food pantry that feeds hundreds of needy people each year.
Organizers say they’re seeking volunteers to make the 2012 edition bigger and better than its predecessors.
“We want local groups to start thinking about getting a team together,” said Sally Love, executive director of Eagle’s Wings.
Love and DWOS director-choreographer Janet Cox are asking prospective dancers to identify songs and routines that correspond with this year’s theme, movie or musical soundtracks.
“We’d like to really open it up to the retail businesses in hopes of this giving them some exposure in the community,” said Cox, who voiced an appeal to business community members and others who might want to get in on the act.
Anyone interested in helping with DWOS is asked to call Eagle’s Wings at 252-975-1138 or Cox at 252-947-0032.
Rehearsals for the musical affair begin in June, but there’s a great deal of work to be done between now and then — work that helps Eagle’s Wings feed more people than it could reach without DWOS.
Last year’s net profits helped fund two new programs, a backpack initiative for children and a food-delivery component for homebound residents who could go hungry without the pantry’s aid.
On weekends, Eagle’s Wings sends food home with 42 school children who otherwise would be deprived of meals while away from school, Love related.
“The food that they get is pretty much the food they get through school breakfasts and lunches,” she said, adding the take-home, packaged fare includes two cereals, two juices, fruits, proteins and more.
Eagle’s Wings homebound outreach benefits 70 people in the nonprofit’s service area, Love shared.
These two charitable concepts were transformed into reality thanks in part to the success of DWOS.
“It seems to get better and better each year,” said Cox, who encouraged first-time and past dancers to get involved.
Rehearsals require about one hour per week for 10 to 12 weeks, she said.
Prior dance experience isn’t necessary.
Cox also wants other choreographers to contribute their ideas and possibly dance with some of the teams.
The team that wins top honors is the one that raises the most money for Eagle’s Wings.