Welcome to our first 10 Questions Blog Entry. The whole concept of 10 Questions is to deliver information to our readers about companies, organizations, events and more in Waltham. Sometimes, they may be boring. Others may prove very interesting to you. Our hope is that you enjoy this project and learn something along the way!
This week, we reached out to Stacey Gallagher Tully to ask about the 5th Annual Dancing With The Waltham Stars which will be held on September 30. Here is our list of 10 Questions:.
1. This is the 5th Annual Dancing with the Waltham Stars which benefits the Friends of Waltham Senior Citizens. Before we get into DWTWS, let's discuss the FWSC. How did it start?
Friends of Waltham Senior Citizens, was started years ago as the Fundraising arm to the Council on Aging. It was founded by Ruth Gately, and a team of passionate community activists.
2. In what ways does it serve seniors in our community and approximately how many Waltham senior citizens have benefited from the group?
The Friends of Waltham Senior Citizens, is a non-profit organization that serves as a resource for the Waltham Council on Aging. The Council on Aging identifies senior citizens from Waltham in need of emergency assistance. A thorough evaluation is conducted and after all other options of assistance are exhausted, this organization will provide them with emergency assistance. It has served numerous seniors in need, over the years.
3. So, you have a background in dance and fitness. How did the idea of DWTWS develop and who worked on putting the first event together?
We have Maureen Baglio, who works at the Waltham Council on Aging to thank for the idea. Six years ago, she presented this idea to me, and continued to ask me about it every time I was in the Waltham Council on Aging Building, which is quite often. I have her to thank for gently pushing me to strongly consider and accept this wonderful idea to create, organize and run this great community fundraiser for our senior citizens in need. It is a full team effort of wonderful volunteers that make this a success!
4. 2014's DWTWS had a lineup of dance partners who were each assigned a choreographer while last year's competition, 2015, had a dancer partnered with a professional similar to what they do on ABC's Dancing with the Stars. How's this year's event going to be different?
The 5th DWTWS is the year of the VIP Alumni! The show is dedicated to the 70 VIP Dancing With the Waltham Stars Alumni, that over the past 5 years have volunteered their time to help create and continue this community fundraiser. Any dancer that performed in the first 4 years and did not win, was welcomed to come back this year and compete. A total of 42 Alumni are performing in some capacity, either in the competition, the group or couple’s dances.
5. Who are the dancing teams/partners competing this year?
There are 13 couples performing:
Couple #1 Jennifer Tully – Paul Joyce
Couple #2 Katerina Stolyarenko – Billy Walsh
Couple #3 Dillon Longmoore – Michelle Usseglio
Couple #4 Darvin Hernandez – Lauren LaCava
Couple #5 Korinne Robertson – Charlie Egirous
Couple #6 Gabriella Cacciatore – Cameron Wetherbee
Couple #7 Eddie Megerdichian – Marie McManus
Couple #8 Nicole Callaghan – Peter Cercone
Couple #9 Peter Gelzhinsky – Kelly Hill
Couple #10 Lindsey Boudrot – Donnie Parrella
Couple #11 Wendy Fournier – Bob Marcou
Couple #12 William Sweet – Krystal Parrella Osika
Couple #13 Beth Canuel – Linda LaCava
6. Northeast Elementary School fifth grade teacher Courtney Allia and her partner/choreographer Eddie Megerdichian, owner of Abaka Dance School of Watertown, won last year's trophy by dancing their “Twango”. What can we expect from the competitors this year – any surprises?
The evening kicks off with an amazing Opening number, choreographed by the talented Sue Chebookjian, and to start the couples routines off there is the encore performance by last year winning performers, Courtney Allia and Eddie Megerdichian.The Alumni that are not competing but are dancing in a group number, have a fun dance routine to close the 1st half of the show. Oh yes, there will be surprises, but if I shared the Surprise it would not be a surprise!
7. We see there will be a Red Carpet complete with flashing photographers for those attending. Will there be live Tweeting or live posting on Facebook during the event?
There will be professional photographers and a videographer recording the event for future viewing by our seniors and it will be replayed on Waltham cable television. We don’t encourage any other flashes while the dancers perform, too distracting!
8. What's the price of admission and what is the program schedule for the event (i.e. cocktail hour, appetizers, contest, general dancing)?
The event will be held on Friday, September 30 at 6:30 PM - 11:30 PM. General admission tickets are $40.00, reserved seating ($50) is sold out. Ticket includes Walking the Red Carpet with flashing photographers, great appetizers from Nellio's, and there is a cash bar. The competition begins at 8 pm. General Dancing will follow at the end of the show. To reserve general admission tickets, please contact Stacey directly at 617 930 4323 or email, email@example.com. Once the show is sold out, we will post it.
9. Who are the judges for this year's competition?
Lenni Kmiec, Matthew Kossack, Suzanne Cassidy Neuman are this year’s judges.
10. What are the goals for The Friends of Waltham Senior Citizens for the next year?
We will work closely with the COA to make sure we are identifying the neediest of Waltham’s seniors, and we will continue to raise awareness in our community for all to be aware of their elder neighbors, family and friends. We are proud to say that this fundraiser has helped to heightened awareness of the needs of the elderly and for this we are most grateful.
Editor's note: Stacey Gallagher Tully is an Independent candidate for Massachusetts State Representative of the 9th Middlesex District in next month's General Election.