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View a "thank you letter" from WFTV sports anchor (and DDI celebrity dancer) Joe Kepner.
After two long years,Â Dance Dream & Inspire returned to the stage at Hard Rock Live onÂ Saturday, May 7th... and weÂ couldn't be more grateful for the outpouring of support that made this evening such a success.
A few highlights:
- Five amazing dance couples competed; each with energy, personality and, most of all, heart.
- Chassity Vega, CEO of GOBA, and her partner Jose Perez, were named "Most Popular", raising an incredible $25,000+ in contributions.
- Sarah Hohman, ED of Marketing for AdventHealth, and her partner Romney Reyes, won the "Judges Choice" award for their Cha-Cha.
- Jane Soltis, longtime Eckerd Family Foundation executive and a catalyst for Florida's pioneering Keys to Independence program, received the Inspiration Award.
- In a real-life Mother's Day tribute, we met Ester Ortiz and Luz Flores, two determined moms who refused to give up on their son, finding the support and answers they needed through Embrace Families' Breakthrough program.
- Every auction package found a buyer, and our champagne matching challenge far surpassed its goal.
- Altogether, this year's Dance Dream & Inspire raised more than $200,000; and - with the help of dancer Joe Kepner's WFTV news story - that number is still rising.
In the years since we last hosted Dance Dream & Inspire in person, we've faced many challenges. We've seen children and families experience the stress of increased isolation. We re-engineered the ways in which we provide support and ensure safety for our communityâ€™s kids.
We've also seen people come together to support one another in ways like never before - and this week's gathering was no different.Â Â Despite the glittering stage and performances, what shined most brightly was the spirit of compassion, hope and inspiration that permeated the room.
Thank you for dancing, dreaming, and inspiring right alongside us.