- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—TUPELO — The Boys and Girls Clubs not only met a pair of challenge grants last week, they exceeded them.

“We ended up getting a second challenge and ended up raising about $30,000 last week,” said marketing and special events director Evie Storey.

Last Monday, an anonymous donor agreed to match up to $10,000 in donations to the Boys & Girls Clubs of North Mississippi’s annual fundraiser Dance Like The Stars. Late in the week, another anonymous donor agreed to match another $2,500 in donations, as long as they were made by Friday at 5 p.m.

The 10 volunteer dancers and the public were able to surpass the $12,500 mark of the two challenges, and added another $5,000 to boot.

“We had a really, really good week,” Storey said. “We are sitting around $155,000 which means we still have about $45,000 to raise to meet our goal.”

This was the first time in the 10-year history of Dance Like The Stars that competitors have had a challenge week. It sparked interest and had the dancers out beating the bushes, some carrying buckets to collect donations of change.

Dance Like The Stars is scheduled for Aug. 22 at 6:30 p.m. at the BancorpSouth Arena.

The dancer raising the most money is named the event Grand Champion. There also is a Judges’ Choice award.

This year’s lineup includes Dr. Nikki Ivancic, Javante Ingram, Dr. Aurora Wong, Allie Martin, Terry Miller, Emily Addison and Josh Sullivan representing Tupelo. Katie Naron represents Oxford, Steve Bass represents Ripley and Dr. Carla Stanford represents New Albany. Professional instructors include Tammy Wilson, Robbie Greenwood, Daniel Stevenson, Liz Martin, Lauryn Sperling, Nick Nesmith and Zach Wallace.

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